Wish Upon A Dish: Turkey Chili Dogs

June 20, 2011

Turkey Chili Dogs

Happy Belated Father's Day to all Dad's. Although according to the weather channel, the middle half of the US is going to be wet, here today, it will be dry.

A day ago the local news channel had it raining today, so I planned a turkey meatball dish. We got lucky this time around but we will not be getting away with anything, it will rain here Wednesday & Thursday.

It seems that lately, the first thing I do when I get up, is to turn on the weather channel. The days are so unpredictable, I never know ahead of time exactly what to expect.

I hate changing plans for my day before it even starts, but for a no rain day, I will make an exception.

I leaned over and tapped The Nudge on his shoulder and asked him if it was OK to move up the Chili Dogs to today instead of Tuesday. I think he mumbled a yes.

I have to confess to getting a craving for Chili Dogs this time of year. Most likely because I see them showcased on TV specials about ball park or state fair foods.

Growing up in New Jersey, chili dogs were a standard choice at all the hot dog joints (and we have almost as many of them as Diner's in this state), especially Rut's Hut where that infamous "RIPPER" was conceived. For those unaware of what a ripper is, it's a deep fried natural casing hot dog that "rips open" in the frying process and the skin gets really crunchy good.

The Nudge loves his hot dog well browned on the grill because they get that crunch without the frying. So good...really.

One hot dog a month in the summer won't kill you and I suppose if you can find a decent chicken/turkey dog that really is good for you, you could use them. I find that reading the labels on chicken dog packages is very discouraging, they really are not as healthy as you would think.

Be very careful. Some digging into which chicken franks are the best of still a bad lot...Louis Rich's Chicken Dogs come in with a C- as compared to all others with a D- and F. They still are loaded with fat and sodium. Please try to limit your family to eating hot dogs only once a month if possible.

Since I only eat one, I want it to be the best beef dog I can find. For that we visited our butcher. They make the beat natural casing beef dogs I have ever eaten. Yes, better than Sabretts or Nathans.
Keeping it somewhat healthy, I will use ground white meat turkey for the chili.

I would buy whole wheat hot dog rolls, but I haven't seen them in the stores yet.

Any leftover chili will be part of the filling for our enchiladas later in the week.

This chili is easy to make, unlike a real slow-cooked chili con carne, it cooks in 30 minutes and there's only 1 step.

Brown the meat, add water, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until it thickens up. Depending on the type of ground turkey you buy (I try to get the all white meat kind) you might have to skim the fat off. Just drop a paper towel on top of the sauce and it will soak it all up. Now, remember, because it is turkey it will not have that dark brown color you have with ground beef. You might want to add a drop of Gravy Master.

There ya have it, done.

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce
* 1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
* 1 cup water
* 1/4 cup uncooked bulgur
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
* 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
* 2 tablespoons Splenda or Truvia
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
* 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
* 1 teaspoon garlic salt
* 1/4 cup tomato sauce
* 1/4 cup low sugar ketchup

I tastes a lot like picadillo but without the green olives and raisins. Those would be a little TOO weird on a dog.

Great numbers, so load up that dog. If you added some bulgur to the mix it would actually be healthy.

I topped the chili with my newly pickled onions. Very, very good.
With the bulgur the fiber and protein goes up and that's a good thing. We want that fiber to off-set the bun and slow down the conversion of white flour to sugar.
I think it's time to investigate either finding a whole wheat hot dog bun or making my own. Will try this week. The Nudge likes to make PB&J sandwiches on them. Now that I discovered white whole wheat flour, he'll never know he's eating healthy....lol.

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