A chili dog designed for chilliest time of year

Chili dogs generally are considered summer food.

Which makes sense. Hot dogs tossed in a bun and slathered with chili and shredded cheese does tend to scream summer casual (and heartburn, but that's another matter).

But those flavors do go so nicely together, I wondered if there was a way to capture the spirit of the meal in a form better suited to fending off the chill of a winter night.

In converting the recipe I saw no reason to mess around too much with the hot dog or chili topping. Why ruin with a good thing? So I instead focused on the starch. A bun just wasn't going to cut it. I considered pasta, but that's too close to Cincinnati chili (spaghetti topped with chili and cheese).

Roasted potatoes were the right flavor, but wrong texture. Mashed, however, were just right. The resulting recipe oozes comfort and warmth. And since you don't have to worry about toppings spilling out of the bun, it's also easier to load up on extras, such as sour cream and jalapeno peppers.


Winter chili dogs

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup milk

Salt and ground black pepper

15-ounce can vegetarian baked beans


1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons cumin

1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 hot dogs

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream, to serve


Chopped pickled jalapeno slices, to serve

Chopped red onion, to serve

Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.

Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Add the butter and milk, then mash until chunky smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

While the potatoes cook, in a small saucepan over medium heat combine the baked beans, tomato paste, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, then cover and set aside.

Heat a grill pan to medium-high. Add the hot dogs and cook until heated through and browned on all sides, about 6 to 7 minutes.

To serve, divide the mashed potatoes between 4 serving plates. Top each with a hot dog, then ladle the beans over them. Top with cheese, sour cream, jalapenos and red onion.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 880 calories; 470 calories from fat (53 percent of total calories); 53 g fat (24 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 140 mg cholesterol; 79 g carbohydrate; 27 g protein; 10 g fiber; 1,830 mg sodium.

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