Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs: A New Year’s Treat from Across the Pond by Jo Elizabeth Pinto #Jo’sKitchen #Tips #SocialMediaMonday

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs: A New Year’s Treat from Across the Pond by Jo Elizabeth Pinto #Jo’sKitchen #Tips #SocialMediaMonday

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What’s better than hot dogs, you ask? Hot dogs wrapped in bacon, of course.

Before her winter break, my daughter learned about holiday traditions from around the world. A fifth grade teacher, who had served in the army, told four classes of enthralled students the British have left us Americans miles behind when it comes to pigs in a blanket. While we dip our hot dogs in plain cornbread or boring old biscuit dough and bake or fry them, the folks across the Atlantic wrap theirs in–you guessed it–bacon!

“How perfect is that?” my daughter gushed as we zipped out of her classroom on the afternoon of her liberation a few days before Christmas. “Hot dogs and bacon, in the same bite. The people in England eat them at soccer games and on New Year’s.”

Thinking back, I remembered my mom complaining about bacon-wrapped hot dogs, which her own mother had fixed in the 1950’s. Maybe my grandpa had tried them in Europe during World War II. My mom had been seriously unimpressed as a kid. But hey–sixty years have passed. Hot dogs might have improved since then, or at least gotten pumped full of more chemicals to make them taste better. Besides, my grandma had slit her frankfurters open and stuffed thin strips of cheese inside before wrapping them in bacon and frying them. By the time the bacon was done, the franks were charred and the cheese was burnt black, my mom had recalled. Not exactly a mouth-watering memory.

Throughout her two-week vacation, my daughter alternately sweet-talked and strong-armed me into trying the recipe. I’d spent the New Year’s holiday in bed, too sick to cook anything. Finally, I was left with her return to school right around the corner. I had no idea what to fix for dinner on a lazy Sunday of playoff football games. So in spite of the health concerns tripping my mom guilt alarms like sirens at a nuclear plant, I gave in.

I wrapped each of six bun-length all-beef hot dogs in two pieces of pork bacon, tucking in the ends so they wouldn’t come loose. I laid the hot dogs on a stoneware bar pan from Pampered Chef™ and put them in the oven at 400 degrees. About ten minutes later, when the bacon was starting to get crisp on one side, I turned the hot dogs so the bacon would brown on the other and cook through. I could have fried the hot dogs in a skillet, but I’d rather use my oven any day. Meanwhile, I warmed buns in the microwave and rustled up mayonnaise, mustard, relish, barbecue sauce, and all of our favorite fixings.

The hot dogs took nearly twenty-five minutes to bake, plus ten minutes of broiling to get the bacon crisp and brown. I had to stand close by while the bacon was broiling so it wouldn’t burn. This meal definitely takes some extra fussing over. I learned on the Internet that some people partially cook the bacon ahead of time, then cool it and wrap the hot dogs with meat that is just shy of crisp before returning them to the oven. Either way, the commitment of time and effort is about the same.

The hot dogs tasted great and were very filling. I fixed two each for myself, my daughter, and her dad, but none of us could eat more than one. We adults liked them best on buns with mayo, lettuce, and tomato, reminiscent of BLT’s. Our daughter cut hers up with no bread and smothered the meat in barbecue sauce.

I’m sure my family won’t indulge in this British holiday treat often because a pound of bacon and a package of hot dogs is a lot of meat for us to use at once, even for two meals. We all agreed that hot dogs and bacon are just as good separately as they are together. But it was a fun recipe to try. We enjoy learning about different traditions from around the world. And if those traditions involve bacon, so much the better!

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Ingredients:
1 pound pork bacon, thawed
6 all-beef bun-length hot dogs, thawed
6 hot dog buns, toasted, if desired
hot dog toppings such as mayonnaise, mustard, relish, barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wrap each hot dog in two slices of pork bacon, overlapping the second slice with the first so the wrapping is as even as possible with no gaps or bunches and the entire hot dog is covered to the ends. Tuck in the bacon ends so they won’t unwind.

3. Lay hot dogs on a stoneware pan or a roasting pan with a wire rack that will allow the grease to drip away. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning over carefully with tongs or a spatula halfway through.

4. Switch the oven to broil. Watch the hot dogs closely to prevent burning as the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness.

5. Serve bacon-wrapped hot dogs on buns with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

About the Author

Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader and is a contributor of The Writer’s Grapevine Magazine where more articles like this may be found.

As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.

Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her teenage daughter, her guide dog Spreckles, and an aging family cat named Sam-I-Am.

Her website is: http://www.brightsideauthor.com.

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