Sometimes, food starts with a craving. Other times, like this one, it starts with ingredients that need using up. Specifically, ground beef and tomatoes. I thought about trying my hand at pastitsio, the Greek version of lasagna, but I decided against it when I realized I lacked some fairly important ingredients. I could have substituted, but I wanted to do it right, so I’ll do it another time. The next thought that came to mind was chili, but we didn’t have a lot of beans in the cabinet, so I decided to make chili for hot dogs.
Two pictures, because they came out so pretty that I couldn’t decide.
Chili Cheese Dogs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 chile peppers, minced
- 6-8 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 can black beans
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 New England hot dog rolls
- 8 natural casing hot dogs
- shredded cheese (I like the four cheese unseasoned Mexican blend)
In a wok or skillet, begin to sweat the onions, peppers and garlic until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add in the tomatoes, oregano and tomato paste. (You may want to briefly blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and peel before cutting them, if you don’t want the bits of tomato skin in your chili.) Add in the ground beef and break up as it cooks. Add black beans and transfer to a crock pot. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are completely broken down to thicken sauce. Prepare hot dogs as desired; butter and toast buns on a griddle or frying pan. Serve dogs and buns with chili, cheese, and whatever other hot dog toppings your little heart desires.