Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fork and Knife Baked Chili Cheese Dogs

Chili cheese dogs made easy in a baked form, fork and knife required!
Chili cheese dogs made easy in a baked form, fork and knife required!

Fork and Knife Baked Chili Cheese Dogs

I. Love. Hotdogs. I do! I don't care about what's in them or how they're made. I don't even want to hear about it. If somebody on Team Food Police tries to lecture me about them, I just plug my ears like a child, and drown them out, lalalalalalala... because I love them.

Boiled. Grilled. Wrapped in bacon and grilled. Air-fried. Dipped in cornbread batter and deep fried. Wrapped in a blanket of dough and baked.

In a soft bun with mustard, ketchup, sweet pickle relish and raw onion. In a bun, smothered with shredded cheese and chili. Heck, I've even tried Chicago style! It was different for sure, but I ate it!

Hot dogs are a lifesaver when you're hungry and in a hurry and I always pick up several packs to freeze whenever they are on sale.

I first saw these oven baked chili dogs many years ago somewhere on the internet and have made them several times. I thought it was somewhat genius to just be able to throw hot dogs in a bun and bake them, but every recipe I saw across the internet included a slather of mayonnaise on the buns to start with.

For me at least, that just seemed all wrong.

That's not to say mayo on a hot dog is not right for you of course, because there are those in my own extended family who actually do put mayo on a hot dog, so I reckon it's a family thing, and whatever you grew up with.
The first time I made these baked hot dogs, I included the spread of mayonnaise, and followed the rest of the recipe, topping the buns with mustard, ketchup, relish, a hot dog, chili and cheese. Now,  full disclosure... I do love me some mayonnaise, but I sure didn't care for the taste of the mayonnaise on a hot dog at all.

The purpose of the mayonnaise seems to be primarily to keep the buns from getting soggy I think, so the next time I made them, I spread a thin layer of butter on the buns instead of mayo and included all of the suggested condiments. The butter was far better for me, but the dish overall was still off.

I decided then that it was all the condiments, because my chili cheese dogs are always pretty basic. Hot dog on a bun, topped with chili, shredded cheese and raw onion, sometimes a little pickle relish under the hot dog. The Cajun is happy with just chili and cheese on his chili dog.

The next remake I skipped the mayonnaise, skipped the butter and decided a little shredded cheddar on the bun first would be most appropriate instead. Although I did include a little bit of sweet pickle relish, I used only hot dogs, chili, cheese and topped them off with onion. Perfection!
The advantage of oven baked chili dogs is that you assemble everything and then just pop it in a preheated oven, free to attend to other things while they bake. The one caveat though... they are indeed messy, but like my Mama used to say about roast beef po'boys, if it ain't messy, it ain't worth eating! These are definitely what I call a fork and knife chili cheese dog.

The real beauty of this method is that you can bake just a few, a full tray, even two trays. The key is you want the hot dog buns to fit snugly against each other in the pan. I can fit five very nicely into an 11 x 7 inch pan. Line the pan with foil for easy cleanup and be sure to cover the dish with enough excess aluminum foil so that you have a little room over the hot dogs, but can still seal the baking dish up tightly.

I've made this with my quick chili and canned chili, my preference being Wolf or Hormel brand, no bean chili, though we've also tried the Rouse's Best Value store brand, and it's a very good option for generic. I've used regular hot dog buns, whole wheat buns and even hoagie rolls.

Very easy - give it a try sometime, especially when you have a crowd to feed!

Dig in!

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Recipe: Fork and Knife Baked Chili Cheese Dogs

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 50 min |
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 (8 count) package hot dogs
  • 1 (8 count) package hot dog buns
  • 2 cups hand-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sweet or dill pickle cubes or relish, drained, optional
  • Mustard and ketchup, to taste, optional
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-bean chili or equivalent homemade (Wolf or Hormel recommended)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and place buns snugly in the pan, six long with two on the sides. Add a pinch of the cheese to each hot dog bun. Top with relish, mustard and ketchup, if using, and hot dogs. Spoon chili over hot dogs, top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle chopped onion on top. Cover tightly with foil, leaving a little head space so foil is not touching the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 mins. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes for easier serving.


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Posted by on April 22, 2018
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