“Show me a Mexican who doesn’t love hot dogs!” author Pati Jinich declared at the launch of her new cookbook, Mexican Today.
Back when Jinich wrote her first book, the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning host of Pati’s Mexican Table stuck to the classics, not veering far from what’s considered traditional. But Mexican food has always been about mixing it up. It’s a hybrid culture that birthed a hybrid cuisine. So in her second cookbook Mexican Today, Jinich explores the exciting possibilities.
“These recipes break preconceptions of what Mexican food is,” Jinich told SheKnows. “And you know, we love tacos as much as we love hot dogs. You go to any tiny little town in Mexico, and right next to the taco stand there’s a hot dog stand. And once you eat a hamburger or a hot dog or a pizza Mexican-style, you won’t want to go back. I mean, we have our way of putting a Mexican stamp onto those dishes.”
It was hard to choose one recipe to feature from this cookbook. There’s a Mexican-style pizza Jinich says is her kids’ favorite, and you really need to check out the spiked pomegranate cocktail with Mexican chocolate. But it is this Mexican Dreamboat Hot Dog that seems to best epitomize what’s happening in Jinich’s cookbook — and in Mexican food everywhere.
Mexican Dreamboat Hot Dogs / Hot Dogs del Galán
Text excerpted from Mexican Today, © 2016 by Pati Jinich. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Makes 6 to 8 Hot Dogs
Preparation Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Make Ahead: These should be served right away.
Some aficionados complain about Mexican food being Americanized in the United States, but it also works in reverse, and I have never been one to complain about it. Especially when it comes to the in-credible hot dogs my three older sisters and I used to eat at the El Galán hot dog stand in Mexico City. As soon as my oldest sister could drive, we would stop at this stand on our way back from school every day to eat one, or why not two, or even three hot dogs con todo (“with all the trimmings”).
El Galán, a dreamboat (el galán means “a very handsome man”—a hunk), would drizzle some oil on his hot plancha (griddle) and throw on some chopped white onions, store-bought pickled jalapeños, and tomatoes. Then, as they sizzled, he’d squirt on some yellow mustard and ketchup with a secret sweet ingredient (we later found out that it was orange soda!) and mix everything up. Onto that delicious mess, he threw a slice of cheddar and once it melted, he piled everything onto a soft bun and topped it with a steaming hot dog. If you wanted your hot dog extra especial, a couple of crispy bacon slices would also show up at the party.
- 6 to 8 bacon slices
- 6 to 8 turkey hot dogs
- 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños or to taste
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 6 to 8 hot dog buns
- 6 to 8 thick slices cheddar cheese
- On a cutting board, roll one slice of bacon around each hot dog. Place the tip of the hot dog over one end of the bacon slice, then roll the sau-sage around and around on the diagonal so that the bacon wraps around it and covers it entirely. If you get to the end of the hot dog and there is still some bacon left, roll back in the other direction until the whole strip of bacon is rolled around the hot dog.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon-wrapped hot dogs and cook, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until crisped and browned on all sides. Remove from the heat.
- To make the salsa especial, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and the edges are beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook for another minute or so, until the tomato has softened a bit. Stir in the jalapeños, ketchup, and mustard and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 350 degrees.
- Open the buns but try not to separate the tops from the bottoms. Top the bottom or both halves (to taste) with cheese (break up the cheese if desired) and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the buns are lightly toasted.
- Place a bacon-wrapped hot dog on the bottom half of each bun and top with a generous amount of salsa especial. Cover with the top halves and serve right away.