Thursday, February 13, 2014

So Gouda.

So Gouda., originally uploaded by michele wynne.
If this is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
If I had a Valentine I would make him this. If I wanted to land a potential valentine, I'd make him this. If I wanted to kill a valentine, I would make him this every day. I have none of the above.
In my sometimes, way too solitary world, hot dogs are a decadent treat. So, so, soooo bad, unidentifiable animal parts, nitrates, fat, artery clogging cholesterol...blaaahdiblaahdiblaaah...
but lately I've been craving a good old fashioned hot dog. It started with the Super Bowl shoppers at the market and now I'm gearing into baseball and thoughts of my favorite afternoons at AT&T Park (the only time I generally will consume a hot dog-oh... and the occasional trip to Costco).
A few weeks ago, I had a 30-something techie kinda guy come through my line at the market with the makings of his Friday night dinner, a package of "Let's be Frank" dogs, a bag of 4 Acme hot dog buns, a 24 ounce bottle of artisanal microbrew ale and a chocolate pot de creme. I said "Wow! that looks sooo good. I want to take that exact same basket home with me tonight". He laughed and that's when he admitted it was  his Friday night dinner. Funny, not only did it trigger my hot dog cravings but it triggered this completely nonsensical observation: Guy in his 30's, I'm thinking this is the perfect quickie-pre-party-all-night dinner. Guy in his 40's??? Dinner and Netflix. Hmmnnn...sounding pretty good. Guy in his 50's? He's got the uncured hot dogs from 4505 Meats, a good bottle of Cabernet and an $8 bar of Dandelion dark chocolate. Even better. Note to self: practice witty banter.
Anyhoo...This crazy dog came about when I managed to nab some day old Acme hot dog buns and a perfectly ripe avocado from the break room. I also had just been sniffing around the cheese counter earlier in the day while a wheel  of Boerenkaas gouda was being cut. Wow, what a knock-out. It's young, creamy and buttery. I'd originally planned a killer grilled cheese with it.

Here's what went down:

Caramelized onions (a staple condiment in the little kitchen)
Dijon mustard
hot dog or a sausage of some kind (I admit to buying all beef hot dogs from Fresh & Easy)
a gouda melty cheese-cut into long strips
a good quality hot dog roll- I like Acme

Open the buns and place in the oven (far from the broiler heat). Turn on the broiler. Bring a pot of water to  boil and cook the dogs until they're done-all plumpy. Remove the dogs from the water and cut a slice down the center but not all the way through, shove the cheese down into the crack. Remove the buns from the oven and lay them open in a broiler proof pan and lay the dogs in the buns.  Broil just until the cheese is melted. Prepare the dogs with whatever you like: slather on the Dijon,  caramelized onions (I warm them in the microwave a bit first) and avocado.
Depending on your broiler, check on the dogs after a minute and then at frequent intervals until edge of the meat is slightly blackened and the cheese is melty but not running down onto the pan.

Enjoy. This is great with a spicy amber ale. oh and maybe a salad if you've got the room.

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