Once I tried a chilli dog, I found it difficult for a while to imagine eating hot dogs any other way. The spicy, meaty sauce with soft, dark kidney beans were up against the smoky sweetness of the frankfurter and then the chewy, soft, white bun. Add to that a few pieces of diced red onion for crunch and freshness and a small grating of good, mature Cheddar for creaminess.
How to make a chilli dog
Obviously if you want to have a favourite chilli con carne recipe simmering away for this then that's fine, but I always rely on chilli leftovers, making chilli dogs the next day. All I do is get the frank into the frying pan with a little drizzle of oil, and cook for a few minutes on all sides, until it's browned and hot all the way through. While that's doing, I chop off a slice of red onion and dice into small pieces, just enough to sprinkle onto the hot dog. Grate a pinch of the cheese and pile it up on the board next to the onion. Split the bun. Then, I reheat the chilli - either in the microwave or in a separate pan if I have one handy. To assemble, you just slide the hot frankfurter into the bun, top with the piping hot chilli and then sprinkle with the red onion and grated cheese. If you're looking for a more instant chilli product for this then I can recommend the 'Look What We Found' chilli con carne - it comes in a pack, contains just two servings and takes a few minutes to heat in the microwave. And it tastes good, too. And if all that meat isn't really your thing, try topping with a veggie, Quorn or lentil chilli instead.
Chilli dogs - love them, hate them or never tried one? Let me know...