Chicago Style Hot Dog Tater Tots

Do you know that time when you are really craving something but you just don’t want to get up, go, and go get it? Yeah, it seems like I have been having those types of days lately. This past week I had a craving for this one, actually it was the craving for a Chicago style hot dog, but with french fries, and I was not about to get back in my car and head across town to go get them. That’s when I took things into my own hands, rummaged through my freezer and refrigerator, and just like that I came up with the great idea of Chicago style hot dog tater tots.

Sure, I’ve made pizza tots, bacon wrapped tots, and homemade tater tots to boot, but I’m not sure if anything compared to these Chicago style hot dog tater tots. It’s everything you love about a Chicago style hot dog, and fries, all in one delicious bite.

Chicago Style Hot Dog Tater Tots Recipe
Chicago Style Hot Dog Tater Tots Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole hot dogs, cooked and sliced in bites
  • 1 bag of your favorite tater tots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 roma tomato, pulp removed, sliced
  • sport peppers, to your liking
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • your favorite pickles, to your liking
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning, optional
  • 1 tsp black poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

If you want to use the funky neon green relish, by all means go for. That goes the same for yellow mustard, and as much as I love both of them, I omitted them from this particular recipe.

Feel free to adjust these ingredients based on how many people you are going to feed. This one in particular could probably feed two, but I was really, really hungry at the time and decided to go all in.

Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat your oven to 425 degrees, or according to your instructions on your frozen tater tot bag.

Line the baking sheet with as much, or as little tater tots to your desire.

Cook the tater tots in the oven just until they begin to crisp up, about 15 minutes or so.

Chicago Style Hot Dog Tater Tots Recipe
Chicago Style Hot Dog Tater Tots Recipe

During this time, either boil, steam, or microwave the hot dogs, just until cooked.

After 15 minutes, remove the tater tots from the oven and add the onions to the top of the tots. Place back into the oven and cook an additional 5 minutes or so, just to lightly cook the onions.

Remove the tots from the oven, coat them sprinkle on the celery salt and cajun seasoning (I use Old Bay for the additional celery salt factor), top with the cheese, and the hot dogs, and place them back into the oven until the cheese is fully melted.

Once melted, remove, and top with the tomatoes, pickles, sport peppers, and shower everything with the poppy seeds. If you are wanting to use relish and mustard, by all means go for it.

Chicago Style Hot Dog Tater Tots Recipe
Chicago Style Hot Dog Tater Tots Recipe

These things are way too good, and are sure to be a real crowd pleaser. Not only did I save myself from a trip across town, but I also won in satisfying my hunger and craving for a Chicago style hot dog, with tater tots! Hope you enjoy.

Loaded Baked Potato Muffins

With one of my most recent recipes, the pizza muffins, I kept thinking as to what to make using the muffin tins as the pizza muffins were such a huge hit. To me the muffin tin is a bit like the waffle iron. As soon as you start tinkering and making great things with the waffle iron, then it gets you thinking of other creative ideas, much like the muffin tin. So with a recent Sunday meal, and one of my favorite meals of all time (chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn), I decided to come up with a twist of the mashed potatoes, and use the muffin tin to make loaded mashed potato muffins. Talk about crazy good, this is it!

Loaded Baked Potato Muffins
Loaded Baked Potato Muffins Recipe

First let me start by saying that I love mashed potatoes, but really love loaded mashed potatoes. Maybe it’s the texture of the bacon, or heck maybe it is just the bacon, but the combination of everything really made this meal shine.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes, skins peeled and removed, and cut into cubes
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • cooking spray

Start by adding your potatoes to a pot of cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 25 minutes or so.

During this time, cook your bacon, and slice your green onions.

When the potatoes are tender, strain them and return them back to the heat to evaporate any remaining water. Once evaporated, season with salt and pepper, and mash them however you desire. I use a ricer on mine as I like the nice, and smooth texture.  Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl, and add in the bacon, butter, and green onions. Give this a good mix, then taste and adjust any salt or pepper to your liking.

 

Loaded Baked Potato Muffin Ingredients
Loaded Baked Potato Muffin Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. During this time, spray the inside of the muffin tins with the cooking spray. Spoon the loaded mashed potatoes into each muffin tin, about 90% to the top. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese, then place into the oven for about 20 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and somewhat crisp up.

Remove from the oven, and serve. To remove the muffins, I used an offset spatula, but you can use a butter knife to work your way around each muffin tin, and gently lift out. If some get stuck, don’t worry as it’s going down with the rest of your meal.

These things were awesome. Everything I loved about a loaded baked potato but in muffin form. What’s not to love about that! The muffin tin pulled through once again, and that made this cook a very happy person. Hope you enjoy!

Nueske’s Wiener with Kimchi Puree

I’ve probably said this over and over again, but I am making every attempt to purge items in my freezer (and refrigerator for that matter) and get them onto the table. So this past weekend, I was rummaging through my freezer and found a couple of Nueske’s wieners. At first I thought ‘why the heck are Nueske’s in here?!’ as hands down they are always devoured when I serve them, and by all means they are the best wieners I have ever tried.  So with that being said, I wanted to jazz it up a bit and that led me to rummage in my refrigerator, only to fine a half jar of kimchi. This is when the bell went off, and I decided to turn the kimchi into a puree. Yes, a puree, only to be used as a condiment for future use. If you have never had kimchi before, I say go a head and try it. I love the stuff, but my wife for example will not go near it. It’s funky, spicy, and good for you to boot!

Nueske's Wiener with Kimchi Puree
Nueske’s Wiener with Kimchi Puree

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite wiener(s), cooked
  • Hot dog buns
  • 2 tbsp kimchi puree per serving
  • scallions, thinly sliced, optional

Simple, right?

First, take as much kimchi as you want, from the  jar, and add it to a food processor. Blend until you have a nice smooth texture.

Take your bun, spread on the kimchi puree, add the wiener, and shower with scallions.

Kimchi Puree
Kimchi Puree

The end result is an explosion of flavor. First you get that great smokiness from the Nueske’s wiener, and then, BOOM comes the kimchi. It rocks. Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast BLT

I’ve been laid up lately hence why I have not had time to do much cooking. I recently went in for what I thought was going to be a quick dermatology appointment, of which turned into the doctor cutting my neck open, and laying me up at home for an entire week. To say the least it has not been pretty. I had a hard time eating as my face and neck were wrapped up in bandages, but on Thursday afternoon everything was cleared and now I am able to wear a bandage on my neck. Again, not pretty, but now I am finally feeling human again, plus I am now able to open my mouth to finally eat!

With that said, I decided I was going to make a great breakfast sandwich, and one that was somewhat healthy (yes, there’s bacon). First I thought I was going just make my Denver breakfast sandwich as my wife and I really loved that one, but then I decided that I wanted a BLT, but as it was getting a bit late in the morning, I decided I would take my ultimate BLT and turn it into a breakfast BLT. What’s not to love about that, right?

Breakfast BLT Recipe
Breakfast BLT Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 1 whole roma tomato, sliced
  • Your favorite bacon, cooked
  • 1 whole avocado, lightly smashed
  • Your favorite green lettuce, washed, and torn
  • 1 whole egg, cooked sunny side up
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Make sure you have prepared all of your ingredients ahead of time.

Cook your egg in a skillet with the melted butter. I went sunny side up, but my wife wanted her eggs scrambled, which I so kindly made for her. So cook your egg however you like them.

To the bottom piece of toast, lather on the mayonnaise. Next layer on the bacon, covering the bottom of the toast.

Add the torn lettuce, slices of tomatoes, and top with the cooked egg.

How to make a breakfast BLT
How to make a breakfast BLT

To the other piece of toasted bread, spread on the avocado.

Add the avocado bread to the top of the egg, and as it may slide a bit, take a butter knife and insert it to the middle of the bread, going all of the way through.

As I made my wife’s sandwich first, I kept asking her ‘how is it?’. Her response was ‘this is so awesome, I cannot put it down!’. I knew this would be a great sandwich, and an awesome one to start of the day.

If you are looking for a great breakfast sandwich, give this one a try, it was a real winner in my opinion. Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast BLT
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 1 whole roma tomato, sliced
  • Your favorite bacon, cooked
  • 1 whole avocado, lightly smashed
  • Your favorite green lettuce, washed, and torn
  • 1 whole egg, cooked sunny side up
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Make sure you have prepared all of your ingredients ahead of time.
  2. Cook your egg in a skillet with the melted butter. I went sunny side up, but my wife wanted her eggs scrambled, which I so kindly made for her. So cook your egg however you like them.
  3. To the bottom piece of toast, lather on the mayonnaise. Next layer on the bacon, covering the bottom of the toast.
  4. Add the torn lettuce, slices of tomatoes, and top with the cooked egg.
  5. To the other piece of toasted bread, spread on the avocado.
  6. Add the avocado bread to the top of the egg, and as it may slide a bit, take a butter knife and insert it to the middle of the bread, going all of the way through.