I’ve never been a baseball fan which makes perfect sense why it has become my son’s main sport of choice. Nor do I particularly like the Dodgers – they’re my husband’s home team. But the two things I do like about baseball are hot dogs and beer. My husband has found a way to combine the two in a somewhat traditional Dodger Dog. Apparently there have been tales from long ago about how the Dodger Dog is prepared at Dodger Stadium, even down to a particular stand being more original than another. But beyond all that, there’s my husband’s adapted way. Yes, I gave this recipe away in an earlier Newsletter, but since I’m feeling more generous these days, I’ll spill the beans right here on the website.
First, he buys traditional Farmer John Dodger Dogs from Smart & Final (and we live in Northern California, land of Giants & A’s). Along with those he gets the traditional long buns from the same establishment. He starts my biggest pot boiling with 2 cans of Budweiser (of course, considering this is baseball). He also gets my Panini Maker out and starts heating it up. When the beer is boiling, he adds the dogs. He lets them boil for several minutes, removes them and then grills them on the panini maker. While grilling, he puts a cooling rack on top of the pot of steaming beer, lays down some buns to be steamed and covers them with a skillet. All of this creates the perfect combination of crispness, sweeness, softness and texture to make the best hot dog I have ever had. Who knew it would be because of the Dodgers.
Next time you’re in a Smart & Final, see if they don’t have some Dodger Dogs and long buns. Even if you make them your regular way, they’ll still wow the kids with their impressive length.
A bit more background from Wikipedia.com:
The Dodger Dog is a hot dog named after the Major League Baseball franchise that sells them (the Los Angeles Dodgers). This 10 inch ballpark frankfurter wrapped in a steamed bun is consumed by millions over the course of the baseball season. The hot dog is sold at Dodger Stadium located in Los Angeles, CA. They cost $5 each at games during the 2009 and 2010 season. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, the projected number of 2011 season hot dogs sold at Dodger Stadium was 2 million — establishing Farmer John Dodger Dogs as the leader in hot dog sales of all those sold in Major League Baseball ballparks.
There are two lines for Dodger Dog vendors: steamed or grilled. The vendors of the grilled dogs locate near the back wall of the stadium so that the smoke doesn’t overwhelm the baseball fans. The grilled Dogs are considered the “classic” version.
The success of the Dodger Dog has spawned a small chain of restaurants in the Southern California area. One such restaurant named Dodger Dogs can be found in Universal City, California. The Dodger Dog is also available in the “Super Dodger Dog” variation, which is made of 100% beef as opposed to a beef/pork blend. It is believed that Dodger Dogs were first called “Dodger Dogs” in 1958 when the Dodgers first came to Los Angeles from Brooklyn. Dodger Dog weiners are also sold to the public in Southern California supermarkets under the Farmer John brand.
The Dodger Dog is also served at Newcastle Field at Bricktown in Oklahoma City, OK, the home of the Houston Astros AAA affiliate Oklahoma City RedHawks. A concession area called the “Dog Pound” serves hot dogs from stadiums around the country including the Fenway Frank, Cincinnati Cheese Coney, Milwaukee Brat, and The Red Hot Chicago Dog. The Dodger Dog was not, however, served at the Dodgers’ spring training ballpark, Camelback Ranch, during the team’s first spring training at the park. This was changed for the 2010 Spring Training season where the Dodger Dog was either cooked on a hot dog roller or steamed.