Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon on News Radio 830 WCCO! See all of Mpls. St.Paul Magazine’s Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s Top 5 lists here!
This week I couldn’t think what to do, in honor of Jacques Pepin. I mean, of course he has classic French recipes, he has easy light cooking recipes, he has one-pan recipes, he has modern recipes, etc. There are no recipes that Jacques Pepin does not have a lot of. But I just had such a fun time making his silly curly hot dog recipe with my daughter that I thought why not, let’s just do silly hot dog recipes. Cooking does not have to be intimidating! Also, you just have to look at Jacques Pepin’s whole series up at Sur La Table’s website. It’s practically every recipe in the book and it’s just very cool they put that out for free. But if you’re asking, “what else can you do with hot dogs?” The answer is plenty!
You don’t need a recipe here, but you’re basically going to leave some part of either a half or a whole hot dog intact, and use a knife to cut legs down the rest. Then you can boil them, pan-fry them, deep fry them, do whatever you do. Chuck a bunch in slow-cooker mac-and-cheese tinted with a few drops of blue food coloring. I’m going to post a recipe for more complicated ones with corn-dog-hats, but honestly, these are cute.
Spiral Cut Dogs
Stick a skewer through your hot dog to hold the center, spin a knife around the outside to make a spiral. Now you’ve got more crunchy surface area, and it’s really easy for a toddler to pull apart.
This is a classic pig-in-a-blanket made into a mummy by making the dough sort of thick and ribbony—start practicing for Halloween folks! You can do this with anything, with crescent roll dough, biscuit dough, bread dough, puff pastry—go nuts!
Puff Pastry Pinwheels
Things were getting a little too hot-doggish up in here so I had to take a detour to praise puff-pastry. Get a sheet of frozen puff pastry. Let it thaw. Make some garlic butter, or, if you’re feeling fancy, make garlic butter and get some pizza sauce and cheese. Let your little one smear the puff pastry with the garlic butter. Roll the whole thing up in a log. Slice it through with a big bread knife and bake on parchment paper. Your kid will be so thrilled to have made appetizers, and they are delicious.
Jacques Pepin’s Curly Dogs
How can you not love this recipe? The pickle tomato relish is great, the little cuts fan out into a sort of flower-ring that’s extra crisp and holds lots of mustard. It’s a winner. If you do the long cut even a very little kid can make the fan cuts on the edge, too. I love this recipe.