WASHINGTON — This week I thought I would hit on a tailgating no brainer — hot dogs. However, I have a little twist for the basic dog — the bacon wrapped hot dog. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
Look anyone can throw a hotdog on the grill, but the key is to make it taste good. In other words, would you order an O’Douls at Oktoberfest? No, you want something with a little substance and flavor.
First, don’t buy cheap hot dogs. Why? They taste bad. A lot of time people try to stretch a dollar with cheap dogs. What you end up with are a lot of leftover hot dogs that you wouldn’t want to eat at home anyway.
Here is a recipe that gets people not only eating the dogs, but coming back for more.
Spend a few extra bucks and get quality all beef franks (foot-long if possible). Then get a nice peppered bacon and wrap a slice around each frank. Grill the bacon until it is crispy. You might want to use toothpicks to hold the bacon in place, but it is not necessary if you tuck the ends of the bacon under. When the bacon is done, the hot dog will be too.
The fact is the flavor of a well-made weiner is more like comfort food then fast food — and when you add bacon it just makes it better.
I put a sweet vinegar-type cole slaw on top, but as always, make it the way you like it. The sweet slaw works really well with the savory nature of the bacon. Get good rolls too, preferable a hoagie type roll.
Now, here is a cocktail that will keep you going deep into the fourth quarter.
It is a UT Longhorn Bullshot (they say it is in honor of former Texas A&M and Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherill).
1 oz. of Jim Beam Red Stag (black cherry flavored Jim Beam)
1 oz of Jagermeister
3 oz of Red Bull
2 maraschino cherries.
Mix and pour over ice (at UT hopefully in an orange plastic cup) and enjoy.
Here are some weekly tips to make your tailgate a little more pleasurable.
• Freeze water bottles for ice packs for the coolers. By the end of the day, there is nothing like the hydrating affect of cool water as the bottles should be melted by then and sometimes it’s nice to have a little water to clean up with.
• Dress in layers. Just like the athletes, one should be prepared for many types of changes in the weather. Also many tailgates begin in the morning and end in the late afternoon. Layers that can be easily removed or added are best.
• Don’t forget the football. There is nothing better than showing off the arm that once had you third on the high school depth chart. I little advice though, bring a junior high sized ball. Unless you were born just outside of Pittsburgh or your last name is Namath, Unitas, Marino or Montana, your spiral will look a lot cooler with a slightly smaller sized ball.
• A flagpole. Don’t just fly a school or team flag. Fly something unique that can be seen all over the parking lot. It is an easy way for people to find their way to your tailgate.
Have a great weekend and always pick the ‘dog at home if the line is less than three.
Todd would love to see photos from your best tailgate. He will pick one to publish with his next tailgate column, and the others will be posted online. He only asks that the photos be of appropriate conduct and that the date and event accompany the picture. Send your photos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org