Monday, December 1, 2014

Frankfurter-Cheese Bake reinvented, Women's Day November 1952

When I proposed making hotdog casserole my dear Hubby let out a sigh ending with a weak ok.  Kind of like a forlorn little boy whose mother asks him to sit down and eat his dinner of liver and onions.   But when I offered to change it up and add his homemade chili that was packed away in the freezer I could see in his eyes that he was hooked.

After thinking about it a bit this recipe became Chili-Dog Casserole.  Hubby and I were thrilled.  We both crave a good chili dog every so often.   The kids all had their reasons not to like it though.  One doesn't like hotdogs, one doesn't like casseroles, and the other joined her siblings in solidarity but did say she liked the cheese.  So why did I bother to make a dinner that has two strikes against it?  First I thought it sounded interesting.  Totally screams "LET'S GET CREATIVE!" in the logic-be-damned way 1950's food just does.  And second, we were really tired of holiday food.  If there's the perfect antithesis of a wholesome Thanksgiving dinner it's got to include hot dogs, right??

Here's the original recipe:

Here's our version:

6 Hotdogs, chopped
1 Medium onion, chopped
A little olive oil
8 Slices white bread
1C Shredded cheddar cheese
1.5 C Leftover chili or canned chili

Preheat oven to 350.
Sauté the onions in a little olive oil over a medium heat until transparent.  Add the hotdogs and stir occasionally until slightly browned.  Spray a square 8X8 inch pan with cooking spray.  Cut the bread slices in half.  Layer 4 slices of bread on the bottom of the pan.  Top with the hotdog mixture, then 1/2 of the cheese, and then 1/2 of the chili.  Place the rest of the bread on top of the chili and press down slightly.  Top with the remaining chili and cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes until heated thru and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Here it is just out of the oven.  Yummmm.

And here it is plated up.  We had some fruit with it.

This is the type of dish you'll either love or hate.  (I'm thinking if you've read this far you are in the "love" camp.  Thanks for staying with me, peeps.)  I honestly I wouldn't bother trying to make it healthy using tofu dogs, wheat bread, and low fat cheese.  The beauty of this recipe is you get the taste of a greasy hot dog joint without the expense or having to eat standing up.  Plus it's a great way to use up homemade chili.  I will make it again for me and the Hubster.  Maybe a romantic dinner with candles?  Ha ha.