Most people think of Chicago or New York City when it comes to hot dogs. However, Birmingham takes its hot dogs pretty damn seriously. We have a ton of hot dog stands, detailed and reviewed here. Most of our places are Greek-owned, and we LOVE our saucy, messy hot dogs. You know, the kind that you should probably be eating with a knife & fork (and NOT in your car, unless you want to know what it's like to dig out handfuls of chili cheese hot dog from that little crevice between the car seat and center console - unfortunately, I KNOW what it's like).
So what's the messiest hot dog out there? I'd have to put my vote in for the chili dog. It's sloppy, flavorful and just plain GOOD. I haven't had a hot dog in FOREVER (unless you count the sad excuse for a Chicago dog I had from Sonic about two weeks ago - the bun was SO STALE), so I decided that I HAD to make chili cheese dogs.
These hot dogs, unlike most hot dog recipes, call for the hot dogs to be BAKED IN THE OVEN, in the buns. I can't explain WHY or HOW it works, but it does. The hot dogs end up perfectly cooked, nice and crispy on the top, and all of the toppings kind of meld together into a gooey & congealed mass of pure flavor.
I'm too ashamed to admit how many of these things I ate.
Oven-Baked Chili Cheese Dogs
adapted from In the Wabe
8 hot dog buns
8 hot dogs
1 can of chili
1 white onion, diced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Generously spread mayonnaise & mustard inside each of the hot dog buns. Add relish & sauerkraut, then place the hot dogs inside the buns. Place inside a foil-lined 13x9" baking dish.
Top the hot dogs generously with chili, diced onion and cheese.
Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. CAREFULLY remove the hot dogs from the pan and serve with a knife & fork.