Hot Diggity Dog — It’s Twins Time

The Minnesota Twins are on television  tonight. They’re playing the Baltimore Orioles in an exhibition game. And I’m tuning in to watch them.

Nothing says baseball more than a hot dog, and  that’s why I’m contemplating having that all-American favorite while sitting down in front of the TV to catch my Mauer, Morneau and the boys for the first time this year.

I’m not sure if this is their first exhibition game to be televised this spring, but it is one in which all the players are healthy and are expected to play.

Hot dogs and baseball have a long history. I remember taking in my first Twins game in 1961 in old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn., and munching on a ballpark hot dog.

Of course, hot dogs were one of my favorites long before then. I remember going with my dad to Erickson’s Meat Market in Crookston and getting some of their homemade hot dogs. We often had them with sauerkraut, but just cooking them in some boiling water and slapping them on buns usually was standard operating procedure. And when I got older, the owners of the Rec, Crookston’s pool hall, all served them right off the grill on hamburger buns. I might have eaten few of them.

So, in anticipation of tonight’s game, here are a couple of hot dog recipes for those of you interested in partaking in this century-old ritual. Hot diggity!

Hot Dogs with Zesty Slaw
1 16-ounce bag  shredded coleslaw mix
¼ cup each: light mayonnaise, chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon each: red pepper flakes, salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 hot dogs
4 hot dog buns
¼ cup ketchup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
Mustard, onions, relish
For slaw, combine the slaw mix, mayonnaise, cilantro, red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste in a large bowl; set aside. Combine ketchup, cumin and red pepper in small bowl; set aside.
Place hot dogs on a microwave safe plate; cook on high (100 percent) power until done, about 1 minute. Place in buns; garnish with desired accouterments. Serve slaw on top of dog or on the side. Play ball!
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 392 calories, 52 percent of calories from fat, 23 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 40 milligrams cholesterol, 36 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams protein, 1,691 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog

1 all-beef hot dog
1 poppy seed hot dog bun
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Celery salt (optional)
1 tablespoon each: green pickle relish, chopped onion
3 sport peppers
3 tomato wedges
1 wedge kosher dill pickle
Place hot dog on a steam rack over boiling water; steam, covered, until hot, about 4 minutes. Add bun, steam 1 minute.
Place hot dog in bun. Top with mustard, celery salt, pickle relish, onions, peppers, tomato and pickle.
Yield: Serves 1.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 365 calories, 49 percent calories from fat, 35 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 13 grams protein, 1,360 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.