I had a craving for a hot dog, recently, and thought, ‘Why not have it for dinner?’ Easy meal, and I think of it as one of my comfort foods. It’s something like a sandwich, but a sandwich can’t really satiate the craving. Is it the way you eat a hot dog? Or is it the toppings? Or the hot dog flavor profile itself? I think it’s a combination of everything that creates the hot dog experience I enjoy.
Hot dogs are one of those foods that as an adult, you realize it’s a little gross but prefer to pretend not to know its contents and how it’s made (some companies use meat by-products and trimmings included with the meat; then there’s the casing, people being against a natural casing because it’s traditionally an animal’s intestinal liner… yes, let’s continue to pretend not to know). Thus, it is not surprising it’s not very healthy (just the sodium alone… aye). Of course, that doesn’t stop me from loving it.
I remember as a child, my mom used to buy cheese-filled hot dogs for me and my sisters. We loved them. It’s a hot dog that has a little filling of a processed, yellow cheese (very much like Cheez Whiz) running through the inside. Thinking back now, this cheese-filled hot dog variety really doesn’t help the case of the hot dog health-wise. But it is great as a hot dog with a condiment included, and is little to no mess (for parents out there, that’s always a plus… though, for a cheese condiment with no mess one also could cut up cheese slices to go with, oh well). And when my sisters and I were children, we didn’t eat hot dogs with the buns, so cheese encased inside the hot dog was great (put it on a stick or fork and we’re on the go again).
So back on topic of my having a hot dog for dinner… Of course, I’d feel a little guilty eating only hot dogs for dinner. To feel like I was adhering to more of the well rounded food groups, I included a salad. My take on a wedge salad, but instead of iceberg lettuce I used a halved romaine lettuce heart. I diced tomatoes and piled it on, then topped it with “Ken’s Steakhouse Zesty Italian” salad dressing and freshly cracked black pepper. My hot dog (uncured, no nitrates, all beef hot dogs from Trader Joe’s–a national market chain seen as worker-friendly…though that may be an old thought, see why here) was grilled on the stove top and put in a toasted bun with paneer cheese, topped with tomatoes, then ketchup and “Alex’s Ugly Sauce” hot sauce. I was getting a little creative with toppings, but trying not to go overboard :). This was restrained creative because I was thinking about expanding on a South Asian flavor theme and making a tamarind ketchup with some curry or turmeric kick.
But this was GOOD. A very good dinner because it satisfied my craving…
[* Sidenote: I am noticing now after having written a handful of blog posts, I tend to have quite a few conversational asides and sometimes it leads to another thought pattern, altogether, but this is probably more accurate to what my flow of thought is like. Yes, sometimes scattered and, at times unusual to follow, but a nice little peek of who I am as represented in my writing. I am continuing to explore my writing through this new blog, and it may differ from time to time as I settle in. Like my cooking, though, I will try to edit and restrain as I see fit. 😀 ]