Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Cheese Dog

The first time the hubs and went to North Carolina we were on a mission.  Well two separate missions.  I was there to have a Tubal Ligation Reversal and the hubs went there to eat!  Although he was born in Atlanta, he claims to hail from North Carolina and has a strange love for the food they serve.  The weird thing is all restaurants in North Carolina have hot dogs on the menu.  That is something you just don't see here California.  Now they don't just call'em hot dogs, they call'em Slaw Dogs.  A Slaw Dog is mustard, dog, chili, slaw and maybe onion.  Ewww! 


Here are the hubs California Slaw Dogs!  He loves them...

First off, I don't really like hot dogs.  Maybe once a year I like a dog that has been fried or BBQ'ed to death on a nice soft bun with NO condiments, just dog and bun. 

Secondly, the natives do not call it a hot dog, they call it a weenie!  This is so hillarious.  Here is how it went down at our first stop...late at night...at Zack's Hot Dogs, in Burlington, North Carolina. (The hubs loves this place so much he once named a dog Zack.) At first glace of the menu I thought man this place is so cheap!  At second glance I saw a menu item that said Cheese Dog (No Hot Dog).  I was sold.  The nice young man came to take our order.  I ordered one Cheese Dog.  He obviously thought I was from Mars or something because he replied, "You know that ain't got no weenie?"  Ummm...yes.  I guess it was my strange acent that threw him off. 

The Cheese Dog arrived.  It was a chunk of cheese in place of a dog, topped with chili and onions.  Delish! 

Here's the thing, when you have kids you have to serve hot dogs...right?  Well now I don't have to eat the dog and I make my own Cheese Dog at home.


There is my Cheese Dog....


Here is my Chili Cheese Dog !

A word about the chili.  Chili for dogs should have NO beans.  I use the Pioneer Woman's version of chili from The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook.  We love this chili. 

PW's Chili
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 t. ground oregano
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper (optional, I use a scant 1/4 t.)
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup masa, mixed with 1/2 cup water
Begin by gathering your ingredients and measuring out your spices. In a large pot, like a dutch oven, cook beef and garlic until browned and cooked through.  Drain off grease. Pour in the tomato sauce, spices and salt. Stir together, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid as needed, using 1/2 cup of water at a time.  (I find I use quite a bit of water to keep the chili from sticking to the bottom.  I usually set my timer for 10 minute intervals and check the liquid level.) After simmering for an hour combine masa and 1/2 cup water. Add to chili and stir to incorporate. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Scoop on top of dogs!!

Now, if you want to just serve this up as a bowl full o'chili...add beans people.  I usually throw in 4 cups cooked pinto beans and more water. 

A note about the water, it will not water down the chili, but if your a scaredy cat and feel like you are just adding too much water you can thrown in another can of tomato sauce.

Please see Works For Me Wednesday and Raising Homemakers for more inspiration!

2 comments:

  1. Hello. this is my first visit - i came because of the SLaw Dog recipe! Don't give up on bLogging. It is such a great stress reLease.

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  2. Zack's is the best! I was born in NC and lived in Burlington for a while - over 30 years ago. I always remembered and loved the cheese dog and have tried to recreate it so many times. I see you, and I used to, use cheddar which is all wrong. My dad informed me that it was Colby cheese which tastes much better. I just ate at Zack's again a couple of days ago and now i'm wondering if the cheese isn't American, as it's much lighter color and softer than Colby.

    Our chili recipe is similar.
    Greek Hot Dog Chili Sauce
    1lb ground beef
    1/2 tsp. of cayenne
    3 tsp. of chili powder
    1tsp. oregano, basil, cumin, garlic.
    1 onion
    A cup or so of tomato sauce and/or ketchup
    A couple cups of water.
    Place all in pot before turning it on.

    Anyhow, i'm eating one right now! :)

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