Thursday, August 16, 2007

Do what with a hot dog?

While it’s common knowledge that potatoes, chicken, even Twinkies and Oreos can be served up deep fried, one Maryland restaurateur is hoping customers will warm to the idea of hot dogs fried in oil.

The centerpiece of the menu at the newly-opened Doc’s Grille in the Crystal Plaza, in Laurel, is a deep-fried hot dog. Offered up alongside hamburgers, grilled chicken and barbecue pork sandwiches are Doc’s “famous” deep-fried hot dogs, with or without chili.

If the thought of taking an item of already dubious nutritional value like a hot dog and dunking it in hot oil sounds unique, it isn’t. It turns out the practice of deep-frying dogs has its own little niche in American frankfurter cuisine. For example, deep-fried dogs are a staple at Rutt’s Hut, in Clifton, N.J., where they are known as “rippers,” due to the bursting of the hot dog skin after it is dropped into the oil.

In Maryland, Doc’s Grille will be joining Ann’s Dari Crème in Glen Burnie, an almost 50-year-old eatery that offers foot-long dogs deep fried. Like Doc’s Grille, Ann’s offers its dogs with or without chili.

For those with a true cast-iron stomach the Internet abounds with recipes embellishing even more on the deep fried dog. One in particular is the “deep fried bacon cheese and beer dog” recipe posted at the Absolute Moral Authority site.

In a nutshell, the recipe first calls for the hot dog to be hollowed out. It is then stuffed with spray cheese — think Cheez Whiz. The cheese-filled frank is deep fried once, coated in beer batter, wrapped with bacon and deep fried again.

Anyone out there have a review for this vegetarian?

-BEN MOOK, Assistant Editor, Business


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