Mama’s Hot Dogs (Recipe: Skillet Hot Dog Chili)
My mother loved hot dogs. She loved hot dogs better than she loved her luggage. Not only did she like to order hot dogs in restaurants, she liked to eat them at home. Chili dogs were her favorite. Somewhere along the line, she came upon a recipe for homemade hot dog chili. From that day forward, she never bought a package of hot dogs without buying a pound of ground beef to make the chili. Hot dogs and chili were for ever united in our home.
The ease of preparation made this a frequent meal in our home. We had an aluminum hot dog cooker that would boil hot dogs in the bottom with a slotted tray that fit inside to hold the buns so they could steam at the same time. Hot dogs and buns in one pot and chili in the other. Only two pots to clean. As the dishwasher, I came to appreciate hot dog and chili night, too.
She insisted that mayonnaise had just as much a place on hot dogs as it did on sandwiches. Every hot dog she ate at home had buns coated with mayonnaise. It wasn’t that easy in restaurants. She usually resorted to requesting mayonnaise packets and applying mayo herself.
Even though the chili contained onions, she believed a proper hot dog should have fresh chopped onions as a topping, also. I agree with that thought.
She may have added some ketchup as a topper but never mustard. That was just her taste preference. She liked mustard and used it on other things. Her hot dogs didn’t need it.
Tonight is the first night I’ve eaten Mama’s hot dogs since she died. I’m making two just for her.
Y’all come see us!
Skillet Hot Dog Chili
yield: enough chili for 8 to 10 hot dogs
This chili is simple to make but really dresses up hot dogs. Add chili powder to suit your taste. The consistency of this chili is different than chili soup. It’s meant to be less watery so the hot bun doesn’t get soggy.
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt.
Add a small amount of cooking oil to a hot skillet. Drop in diced onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions began to softened.
Add ground beef to skillet with onions. Cook and stir until all pink is gone from the meat. Drain if necessary.
Put ketchup and chili powder in beef mixture and stir well. Add water and salt. Stir well. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot on hot dogs.