Friday, July 15, 2011

Chili Dogs On Toasted Buns

I’m not a huge fan of hot dogs, but every now and then I do get a craving for them. Especially since I still had some slow cooked chili leftover in the fridge.
These took very little time to make, and I served them with Hassleback baked potatoes.
I like to cut slits lengthwise on four sides of the hot dogs. That way, when they cook, they will open up along these cuts and crisp up even more. Although I used the oven to bake the hot dogs and toast the bread, the grill would work just as well.

4 hot dog buns
4 beef or turkey hot dogs
1 cup slow cooked chili
2 tbs chopped cilantro (optional)
2 tbs diced white onions
1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese


Cut a slit along the edge of the hot dogs; do this on 4 sides. If you’re using an oven, bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Once the the hot dogs start to brown and crisp up, they’e ready.
Toast your buns for about 2 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees F. (Toast these just before you’re ready to serve them, while the oven is still hot from baking the hot dogs.)
Spread your favorite condiments on the bread — mustard, ketchup and/or mayonnaise. Add your baked hot dog with the largest opening side facing up, and spoon chili on it. Add shredded cheese on top and return to the oven for about 3 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Garnish with onions and cilantro, or fresh homemade salsa.

Prepared on 2011-05-15 (Tulsa, OK), Photographs by Michael Findley

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Southwestern Black Bean, Sweet Corn and Roasted Potato Salad with Mandarin, Lime and Garlic Dressing

I often like to experiment with vegetables that I happen to have on hand. I don’t always have a specific recipe in mind, although I usually know the direction I want to go in. This time I started with the potatoes and the dressing and went from there.
You’ll notice that I’m using more and more potatoes lately. Like I’ve told you before, I find it fun, easy and cheap to cook with them.
I added the corn, beans and bell pepper until I got the right look and texture I’d envisioned. The spiciness of the potatoes contrasted with the sweet kernel corn and mandarin-lime dressing worked very well in this case.
Inventing this dish gave me a chance to use basil, cilantro and oregano growing in my herb garden.
The potatoes were done almost exactly like the crispy potato wedges, but instead of russet potatoes I used new red potatoes. Although I used a mandarin here, you could also use a tangerine instead.

1 1/2 pounds new red potatoes
1 cup whole kernel corn (or use frozen whole kernel corn)
1 1/2 cups black beans (or 1 15 oz can of low-sodium black beans, fully drained)
1/4 cup bell peppers, cut into small slices
1/4 cup green onions, diced
1/2 large avocado, diced

Mandarin-Lime and Garlic Dressing:
1 tbs fresh basil
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs fresh cilantro (optional)
4 whole cloves garlic, mashed
1 tbs fresh oregano
3 mandarin slices (mashed and strained)
Juice of 1 lime

Spicy potato marinade:
2 tbs canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the potato marinade and combine well with a fork. Make sure to whisk the marinade while adding each of the spices. to keep them from clumping up. Set aside to give the spices time to infuse into the oil.
In another mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients for the Mandarin-lime and garlic dressing. Do this at least 30 minutes before adding to the salad so that the spices and juices have time to blend.
Cut each potato into 4 parts (these are pretty small potatoes; if yours are larger cut even more) and place in a large ziploc bag. Pour the potato marinade into the ziploc bag and let out all the air, toss around with your hand until all the potatoes are covered in the marinade and set aside so that potatoes have time to absorb the marinade.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Spread foil on a large shallow baking pan and spray with non-stick spray.
Lay the potatoes on the pan in a single layer; spread them out evenly. Bake 20 minutes (or until crisp and tender) and turn halfway through. When done, set aside to cool.
In a large salad bowl, put the beans, corn, bell peppers, green onion and diced avocado. Once the potatoes are warm but not hot, add them to the bowl. Add salad dressing and toss.
Serve immediately.

Garnish with chopped basil.

Prepared on 2011-06-07 (Tulsa, OK), Photograph by Michael Findley