Dogs and Tots
I have a small confession to make. Even though I can cook a lot of pretty decent meals, my girlfriend’s absolute favorite meal that I make is hot dogs and tater tots. I actually think that she wanted to start seriously dating me because of this:
I think there are two real secrets to making fantastic hot dogs at home: First, use good dogs. I’m sorry Oscar Meyer, but you just don’t have my heart when it comes to hot dogs (although you do when it comes to jingles!) I always go with either Nathan’s or Hebrew National.
For tator tots: 1) Start cooking frozen tater tots at 425 degrees F. They will need to bake for 35-40 minutes to get very crispy which is longer than most of the products will recommend but leads to a crispier tot.
2) Mix up spice mix and and add a good pinch of spice to the tots halfway through baking and then again at the end.
3) For hot dogs, start them off in a frying pan on medium high heat. If they are dry, add just a bit of olive oil to the party. After about 10 minutes, they will look delicious.
4) Once dogs are seared, cut up some cheese. Any cheese will do. I prefer cheddar or blue cheese.
5) Put your preferred cheese in your bun, then put your dog in the bun, then put the whole package in the oven for 5 minutes. The cheese will melt and the bun will get crispy. It will be fantastic.
You can top dogs with whatever toppings you like. I prefer mustard or even blue cheese dressing. Serve with the tots on the side!
The second tip involves method. The best part of these dogs is that they are cooked on the stove until they are crispy, then baked for a few minutes in the bun which melts the cheese, crisps the bun, and brings the whole dog together.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we can even start with the dogs, we need to get the tater tots started.
I use normal frozen tater tots for this, but I don’t really follow the recipe. I cook them at the same temperature that most frozen tots recommend (425), but I cook them longer (40 minutes or more depending on your oven) and I spice them up A LOT.
They look pretty bland out of the bag.
For the tots: I cook them for 20 minutes, take them out and shake them, put on about half of my spices, return to the oven for 20 more minutes, and then season with the rest of the spices.
I’ve tinkered with a bunch of seasonings over the years, and I would encourage you to play around. This is my favorite currently though.
If you like your tots super crispy you may even want to cook them for another 10 minutes bringing the total cooking time to 50 minutes.
Back to the hot dogs. Start them off in a frying pan on medium high heat.
If they look dry, add just a bit of olive oil to the party. After about 10 minutes, they will look delicious.
Once your dogs are done, this is what you should do. Cut up some cheese. Any cheese will do. I prefer these:
Sorry, I didn’t have time to take a lot of photos at this point, but I think you can handle it. Put your preferred cheese in your bun, then put your dog in the bun, then put the whole package in the oven for 5 minutes. The cheese will melt and the bun will get crispy. It will be fantastic.
Let’s check in on our tots.
They still need probably 15 minutes.
What about those dogs?
You can top them with whatever toppings you like. I prefer mustard or even blue cheese dressing. Again, I wasn’t able to take too many photos of the whole deal because they were eaten in like 30 seconds.
I promise if you make your dogs and tots like this from now on, you will have a bunch of new friends.