Saucy!

One of the many perils of working with creative types is that sometimes people don’t meet deadlines. I’m fairly sure this played a huge role in my editors at the Portland Tribune deciding to allow me to seasonally relocate to Australia, where I was 17-19 hours ahead of them and, therefore, my deadlines.

So, as they say, paybacks are a bitch – and you, my friends, get to reap the consequences in the form of this favorite family recipe.

I was raised by Okies and Texans – neither of whom are regularly singled out for their culinary excellence (unless it involves barbecue sauce, of course.)

While my dad had an uncanny ability to freestyle teriyaki sauce and various exotic meals (well, exotic for Fresno) my mom adhered much more closely to traditional American cuisine. And by “traditional American cuisine,” I mean the kind of food consumed by REAL Americans – Spam, Vienna sausages and hot dogs.

How in the h-e-double-hockeysticks she found this recipe, I’m not sure. Did I look forward to consuming this kicky take on hot dogs? To quote Sarah Palin, “You betcha!!””

(As a general aside, under normal circumstances I would never quote Sarah Palin. The mere mention of her name usually induces a particular form of Tourette’s I developed during the VP debate of ’08 with the help of half a fifth of vodka – which, in my defense, was the only way I could get through the “there ya go, Joe” bullshit without inflicting thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to my laptop, the place I was living in and myself.)

But I digress. I’m supposed to be talking about saucy franks, not tarty skanks.

My mom pretends not to remember how many awesome hot dog recipes she had in her arsenal, but this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. Hot dogs are hip in Seattle (note to the corner of 10th and Pike – ENOUGH ALREADY. No corner needs three hot dog stands, no matter how many drunk Seattleites you pour into the equation) but you will impress many more people with this delightful twist on white trash cuisine than you ever will by ordering cream cheese on your ‘dog.

I give you SAUCY FRANKS!

So wrong, and yet so, so right…

A kicky red/orange sauce and hot dogs scored to plump up into corkscrews!  Add a soundtrack of at least 90% Barry Manilow with a little Rush or Journey for variety (maybe some U2 if you’re feeling rebellious), Kraft mac n’ cheese, some canned string beans microwaved with bacon bits (alternate serving suggestion: a salad of iceberg lettuce with a variety of Kraft dressings), and a a homemade wine cooler (for the grown-ups, of course, and concocted by mixing Gallo with 7-Up) and you have created a portal into my childhood. Just say “F***NO”!

Enjoy!

The tangy, rich tomato sauce makes these a mouth-watering treat!

2 8-ounce cans (2 cups) seasoned tomato sauce

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon onion salt

Dash Tabasco sauce

2 pounds frankfurters

Combine all ingredients except frankfurters. Bring to a boil. Score frankfurters; add to the sauce and simmer gently until thoroughly heated, about 8 minutes. Serve with the sauce. Makes 8 servings.

 

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