Guy Fieri’s bacon-wrapped Danger Dogs are a ticket to Flavortown

In late May, Guy Fieri signed an $80 million, three-year deal with the Food Network. That made him not just TV’s highest paid chef, but also one of cable’s best compensated hosts. And he continues to pay it forward.

The self-proclaimed Mayor of Flavortown distinguished himself by raising over $21.5 million in 2020 for out-of-work restaurant employees by hitting up some of his major sponsors like PepsiCo and UberEats.

Now even as restaurants reopen, Fieri continues to highlight the precarious plight of the independent restaurant community. On June 12, he will host “Guy’s Restaurant Reboot,” an event that will stream across 20 platforms with a projected audience of 5 million. Fieri will be joined by high-profile chefs like Alex Guarnaschelli and José Andrés. Non-chefs like Shaquille O’Neal and Rob Gronkowski will be on site at their favorite local spots – O’Neal at Park Tavern in Atlanta, Gronkowski at Datz in Tampa, Florida – creating “off the hook” specialty dishes that customers will be able to order to support the restaurants. Diplo will provide music.

The focus of the show is to award over $300,000 in grants as well as to start a dialog. “There will be conversations about the future of the restaurant industry: How has the business model changed? And what is the future of restaurants?” says Guarnaschelli in a phone interview. “It’s a really cool event.”

The goal, Fieri said in an email, is “to show we are back in business! This past year has been a challenge like we’ve never seen. We’ve seen a lot of really great places close, and far too many folks lose their jobs. But what we’ve also seen are restaurant owners being innovative in all new ways, while still showing up for their communities in spite of these challenges. We want to give back to folks in various sectors of the business, at different levels in their careers, all working hard to reboot the future of our industry.”

What Fieri and friends cook up on “Guy’s Restaurant Reboot” remains to be seen. I’m betting hot dogs will appear in some shape or crazy form – the chef has shown an affinity for them.

So to celebrate Fieri and his enormous and ongoing contributions to the battered restaurant industry we pulled out one of his superior hot dog recipes. Stuffed with pickled jalapeños and wrapped in bacon, the dogs are smothered in a fiery grilled fruit salsa. He says they’re inspired by food carts in Mexico.

“For some reason, they just taste incredible at 2 a.m. on the streets in Tijuana. Here’s my rendition,” he writes in his 2014 cookbook “Guy on Fire.” ‘Tijuana Danger Dogs’ is a nickname his friend Reid gave them. And they do feel a bit dangerous – the jalapeño stuffing pops with each bite that’s blanketed by the smoky, crispy bacon. What pulls it back, even as it fires the dish up thanks to the addition of two kinds of chile, is the sweetness of the grilled pineapple and mango salsa.

Be warned: Fieri’s recipe for grilled fruit salsa makes enough to feed a field of competitive hot dog eaters. But it’s delicious and also great on less flamboyant dishes than a bacon-wrapped dog, for instance a grilled tuna steak. Whatever you eat it with, it’s a fast ticket to Flavortown.

The following recipe is adapted from “Guy on Fire,” copyright 2014 by Guy Fieri, and reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The ingredient list makes it clear that this isn’t a typical hot dog. (Kate Krader / Bloomberg)

Guy Fieri’s Danger Dogs

Serves 4

4 slices applewood smoked bacon

4 large hot dogs

8 pickled jalapeño slices, drained

Canola oil

4 hot dog buns

Ketchup and mustard, for serving (optional)

 

Spicy Fruit Relish

Canola oil

2 cups large pineapple chunks or slices (about ¾ pound)

1 ripe but firm mango, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

1 medium red chile, such as Fresno or cayenne, finely diced

½ medium red onion, diced

½ cup pickle relish

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Make the spicy fruit relish. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Brush with oil and grill the pineapple and mango until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Let cool then cut into ¼-inch pieces. In a bowl, combine the fruit with the jalapeño, red chile, red onion, pickle relish, and olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the hot dogs. Heat the grill pan. Cook the bacon slices just until the fat is rendered, about 2 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Make a lengthwise cut down the center of each dog. Cut open the jalapeño slices so they unravel into strips. Arrange 2 jalapeño strips in each hot dog, so they fill the length of the dog. Wrap each hot dog tightly with a strip of bacon and secure with toothpicks at each end.

Light a grill or heat the grill pan and brush with canola oil. Grill over medium high heat until the bacon is cooked through and the hot dogs are lightly charred, rotating occasionally, about 8 minutes total. During the last minutes of grilling, grill the buns for 1 or 2 minutes.

Remove the toothpicks and set the hot dogs in the toasted buns. Top with spicy fruit relish and serve with ketchup and mustard.




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