Baby chili cheese dogs

For the first International Incident Party for 2011, we’re all about hot dogs. True to form, I’ve left it to the very last minute and was up early this morning to finish cooking, assembling and photographing my dish. However, the cats were super happy to see me so early and lots of purring and head butting ensured. Awwness! (Though they were probably happier that they were being fed early rather than at seeing me!)

International Incident Hot Dog Party

I do actually have a reason for being so last minute. I had lasik on Friday afternoon and I had (optimistically) thought that I might have time to do some planning for this post on Friday night. Well it turns out that the only thing I was able to do on Friday night was lie in bed with my eyes closed. Silly! πŸ™‚ On Saturday, after my follow up appointment, my vision had cleared (to an AMAZING extent) but I decided I had better take it easy!

(And if anyone is contemplating lasik – do it! It’s such an amazing procedure, very quick, and relatively painless.)

But back to hot dogs! My Bro is the hot dog connoisseur in the house πŸ˜‰ so I asked him what I should make for this party. CHILI CHEESE DOGS was the quick answer. Chili cheese dogs it was… but I wanted to make something just a little bit more awesome. And what’s more awesome than little mini things? NOTHING. That’s right, while it might sound contradictory, little hot dogs > big hot dogs. My baby chili cheese dogs were born!

I baked my own little mini wholemeal rolls, made a pot of spicy beef chili, and with (purchased) little pork chipolatas and grated cheese, I had little mini hot dogs with extra chili on the side. πŸ˜€ I was won over with their cuteness – I would love to serve these at a party as finger food! They’re just the right size to eat in two bites.

Right now I need to get off the computer and give my eyes a break, so I’ll update this post with the recipe later tonight (edit: now updated!). Thanks, as always, to Penny for hosting the hot dog party. Check out the forum to see other hot dog creations or visit the attendees below:

Baby chili cheese dogs

For the mini wholemeal rolls

Adapted from The Complete Cook

Makes 16 super mini rolls – though 8 would probably be a better number

250g wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
25g butter
15g fresh yeast or 1&1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
about 150ml warm milk

Mix the yeast and sugar into the warm milk and leave for 10 minutes until frothy.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter.
Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and mix, adding a little more milk if necessary. Mix until the dough comes together and then turn out on to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a clean oiled bowl and leave it in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk.
Heat the oven to 230C. After rising, knock back the dough and cut into 8 (or 16 as I did) equal sized pieces. Shape into rough sausage shapes and place on to a floured baking sheet. Cover and let it rise for another 15 minutes.
Dust with flour and bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (baking time will depend on the size). When cooked, remove to a wire rack and cover with a tea towel and let cool.

For the chili

1 onion, peeled and diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
500g beef mince
2 teaspoons chilli powder (or to taste)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon coriander
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
salt and pepper

Cook the onions and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat until soft.
Turn up the heat and then add the mince – frying until fully browned.
Add the spices and mix to combine, and then add the tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and tomato sauce.
Season with salt and pepper and lower the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, until thick and saucey.
Taste – add more spiciness or salt if desired. If it’s too sour, add a bit of sugar.

For the hot dogs

Mini pork sausages
grated cheese

Cook the sausages – I fried mine on a grill. Assemble the hot dogs by placing a cooked sausage into the middle of a bun, and topping with mustard, chili and grated cheese.