Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


May 14, 2013

Lee Ward: Hot dogs with local variations; wild-rice competition: 5/14/13

ASHLAND — I don’t know if the way I like hot dogs is Southern, but I know everyone has his or her own way of piling on the toppings, or avoiding toppings.

Although I’ll eat them with mustard only, I like them with mustard, onions, sauce (or chili, depending on where you’re from) and slaw. No cheese, please.

Janet K. Keeler, writing for Scripps Howard News Service, reports:

‰A Jersey dog is deep-fried and piled with fried potatoes. In Cincinnati, they like them dripping with thin, spicy chili without beans.

‰Chicagoans pile on the toppings — mustard, sweet-pickle relish, onion, tomato, pickled sport peppers (hot yellow chilies), celery salt and a dill-pickle spear on a poppy-seed roll — and hope they don't tumble out and down the front of their shirts.

‰Out West, just about anything goes, including nacho cheese and avocado.

Hot dog eaters also have cooking preferences: boiling, steaming, pan frying, grilling, microwaving.

What kind of hot dog do you like?

What makes it perfect for you?

Email me how you like your hot dog. If you have a good sauce recipe, please share that, too, because I haven’t mastered hot dog sauce and I’d like to. I’ll print the results of this informal poll in a future food column.

Meanwhile, here are some doggone good ideas to spice up a summertime favorite.

Southwest Dog: Wrapped in bacon and grilled; topped with pinto beans, tomato, onion, avocado and cilantro.

Reuben Dog: Sauerkraut heated with caraway seeds, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing and dill-pickle chips.

Fugetaboutit Dog: (sauteed peppers (red and green), onions and garlic stewed with diced tomatoes.

Cuban Dog: Swiss cheese, mustard and dill pickles.

Crunchy-Corn Dog: Chili beans, shredded cheddar, pickled jalapenos and crushed Fritos.

Far-East Dog: Brush with hoisin or plum sauce before grilling. Garnish with sliced cucumbers, scallions, cilantro and more sauce.

Guacamole Dog: Guacamole, sour cream, diced tomatoes and onions.

BBQ Dog: Brush dogs with barbecue sauce before grilling, then top with coleslaw.

Real Hot Dog: Shredded jalapeno jack cheese and sliced pickled jalapenos.

Skinny Dog: Turkey dog or tofu pup with mustard, ketchup and dill-pickle relish. Whole-wheat bun, of course.

Onion Dog: Saute 1 sliced onion in vegetable oil; add 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar, 11⁄2 cups water, and cayenne and paprika; simmer until thick.

Philly Cheesesteak Dog: Melted cheese (Velveeta is recommended), sauteed peppers and onions and a dash of hot sauce.


The fourth annual “Get Wild with Wild Rice” recipe contest, sponsored by the Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council, is under way.

Recipes will go head to head in a taste test by the council’s culinary specialists. Participants have three opportunities to win. First, up to 16 finalists will be selected, awarded a wild rice prize pack and their recipes will be featured in the council’s annual recipe brochure. Second, the $500 Grand Prize will be awarded to the winning recipe as determined by our celebrity judges led by food editor and radio personality, Stephanie March. Finally, recipes from finalists will be posted in September for an online contest celebrating National Rice Month. America will vote for their favorite recipe and one winner will receive a $250 People’s Choice Award. The deadline for recipe submission is June 14. Visit nwildrice.org for full contest details.

For a free copy of the council’s latest recipe brochure, “Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Recipes and Answers to Often Asked Questions,” featuring contest winning recipes and other wild rice favorites, including soups, appetizers, salads, entrées and side dishes, send a self-addressed-stamped-envelope to: Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council, Newest Recipes, 4630 Churchill St., No. 1, St. Paul, MN 55126


People who are my age might remember dinners that revolved around Manwich. That was a good night at the dinner table.

But Manwich is just sloppy joe with an interesting name. Homemade sloppy joes are even better and this recipe puts sloppy joes in a new light.



Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Fla.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more

11⁄4 pounds mild Italian sausages, without casings

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

1⁄2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 cups jarred tomato basil sauce

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

16 slider rolls, sliced

11⁄2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

16 slices mozzarella cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage. Brown well, breaking up links with a wooden spoon.

Add onion, vinegar, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes; stir until onion is tender. Add tomatoes and garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add sauce; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until liquid has almost evaporated. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

Preheat broiler. Brush cut sides of roll tops lightly with oil. Arrange all roll slices, cut side up, on a large baking sheet.

Using an ice cream scoop, pile equal amounts of sausage mixture onto roll bottoms; sprinkle lightly with Parmesan; top with mozzarella slice. Place briefly under broiler, until mozzarella is melted and roll tops are toasted. Arrange roll tops over melted mozzarella and serve.


While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send email to lward@dailyindependent.com.

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