Hot Dogs @ Home

The Ingredients & Story: We're soon to start the 2nd round of the "Local Meat CSA" with Jerry and Elizabeth Eaton (the next time around it'll be called the "Good Eaton Club" - but I digress). We posted info on the Cincinnati Locavore list, and Cedar Lane Farm reached out to offer themselves as a backup meat provider. They shared that they had hot dogs for sale - that piqued our interest! Hot dogs are a guilty pleasure that has certainly become en vogue (i.e. Senate in OTR, Mayday in Northside, many more), and since the Eaton's don't offer them, we thought we'd give them a try. They've got regular dogs, dogs with cheese and chili seasoning, and smoked sausages with cheese.

They're not the bastion of local/healthy/additive-free that we'd like in a perfect world - but I feel better about a hand off in person from a local producer and processor than buying from Oscar Mayer (even though that was my first elementary school).

Oh, and we added some sweet potato fries (organic, Trader Joe's) with sweet chili sauce (conventional, Kroger) on the side.

The Process:
We did some quick googling (that's beyond capitalization, right?), and decided upon the steam then saute with butter method. It was about that simple - boil just a bit of water in a pan, put the dogs in until the water evaporates, then add a bit of butter to finish with a char.
And yes, even though I am originally from Chicago, I do add ketchup (organic, Trader Joe's). What.

For the sweet potatoes - we mandolined into 1/4" slices, then hand tossed them in a bowl with brown sugar (organic, Kroger), cayenne (organic, Herbs & Spice & Everything Nice), and kosher salt (conventional, HSEN). They went on a cookie sheet into the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes, flipping about halfway when they were browning.

The Results:   The hot dogs were great!  They were juicy on the inside, with a nice snap/crackle/crunch through the casing.  By the time we got to the cheese and chili seasoned dogs, the cheese wasn't oozing out the way we would have liked - but that's our fault!  Sweet potatoes are hard to get crispy, and these were about halfway there on most bites, but the ones that were damn near burnt were perfect!

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