When I was a young Texan, all the other kids teased me mercilessly at birthday parties and backyard barbecues because I liked to put mayonnaise on my hot dogs. I know, right—who does that? My family certainly didn’t teach me this as I come from a long line of mustard eaters and obviously, none of my friends put mayonnaise on their hot dogs either. Imagine my shame when I had to ask the hostess for a jar of mayo so I could dress my hot dog. It was terrible. But on my last trip home, however, I finally figured it out. I’m not weird at all—I’ve just been eating Mexican hot dogs my whole life.
To the uninitiated, a Mexican hot dog is a dog that’s been wrapped in bacon and fried. Sometimes it’s served in a split bolillo, but often it’s found in a regular bun as well. Toppings often include pickled jalapeños, guacamole or fresh avocado slices, beans, and generous squirts of mayonnaise, ketchup and salsa, though a dash of mustard isn’t completely unknown.
Mexican hot dogs are popular in the Mexican state of Sonora—and are sometimes called Sonoran hot dogs—though you can certainly find them in other parts of the country. While Arizona has had a thriving Mexican hot dog scene for years, they have recently become quite popular in Houston as well. And that’s where I had my first Mexican hot dog—outside the Fiesta near my mom’s house. The bacon-wrapped dog was a beauty, drenched in mayonnaise and jalapeños—I had at last found my ideal dog.
Now, Texas isn’t really regarded as a hot-dog state; wrapping a slice of soft white bread around a spicy jalapeño beef sausage is more our style. But we definitely eat hot dogs, so if you’re selling them or making them, why not top them with the flavors that we love? Mexican hot dogs are perfect for Texans! They haven’t really taken New York City by storm yet—there’s only one place that I know of that serves a close approximation, so if I really want one I have to make it myself. I don’t mind, however, as what could be more simple and satisfying than a hot dog? Plus, it allows me to get a little creative with my toppings.
One of my deviations from the typical Mexican hot-dog script is I like to add a pineapple salsa on top of mine. Pork and pineapple are a classic Mexican combination and I feel the bright sweetness helps balance some of the heaviness. I also make a quick, homemade chipotle mayonnaise. This recipe is adapted from David Leite’s brilliant milk mayonnaise recipe—which uses milk instead of egg yolks to create the emulsion with oil. It’s a little softer and lighter than regular mayonnaise, which also makes an ideal companion to the richness of a bacon-wrapped hot dog.
Warm days definitely signal that it’s hot-dog season. And if you haven’t had a Mexican hot dog yet, I know that you’ll love it. And heck, even if you find mayonnaise on a hot dog bizarre, when you’re eating a Mexican hot dog you just might change your mind.
What are your favorite hot-dog toppings?
Mexican hot dogs
8 hot dog buns or bolillos
8 hot dogs
8 slices of bacon
1 cup of refried or ranch-style beans
Chipotle mayonnaise (recipe follows)
Pineapple salsa (recipe follows)
1 avocado, cut into wedges
With a fork, poke a few holes into each hot dog and then wrap each hot dog in a slice of bacon. On a medium-hot griddle, cook each side of the hot dogs until bacon is crisp.
In each bun, spoon in some beans and avocado. Place bacon-wrapped hot dog in bun and then top with condiments.
Chipotle mayonnaise (adapted from David Leite)
1/3 cup cold whole milk
1 teaspoon of lime juice
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 to 1 whole chipotle chile from a can of chipotles en adobo
3/4 cup of canola oil
Pinch of salt
In a blender, mix together the milk, lime juice, garlic and chipotle chile for 30 seconds or until well blended—it will be a light pink color. With the blender on high, slowly drizzle in the oil a tablespoon at a time. The mixture should begin to thicken. Continue adding oil until it’s thick and custard like. Salt to taste. Will keep for five days in the refrigerator.
Note: It’s important to use whole milk. I tried it with buttermilk, goat’s milk and low-fat milk and it didn’t work as well as it should. Also, I found that olive oil imparted a bitter flavor, so it’s best to stick with neutral-flavored oil such as canola.
1 whole pineapple, peeled and cored and diced (2 cups of pineapple)
1 jalapeño chile, diced
1/4 of a red onion, diced (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup cilantro, diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Mix together all ingredients. Refrigerate for a couple of hours then serve.