Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crispy dogs with bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce

crispy dogs san antonio

“How you feel about crispy dogs?” asked a friend from San Antonio. We were discussing regional variations of hot dogs, with my favorite being the bacon-wrapped Mexican hot dogs I enjoy at the Fiesta market by my mom’s house in Houston. His, however, was the aforementioned crispy dog, which is a cheese-stuffed hot dog wrapped in a corn tortilla and then fried.

“That sounds like a flauta,” I said. He agreed it was similar, but it also reminded him of a Tex-Mex corny dog. But no matter how you define it, what’s not to love about melted cheese, juicy sausage and a crunchy fried tortilla? Yep, ever since our conversation, I’ve had a serious craving for a crispy dog.

Though here’s the thing—if you want to order a crispy dog at a restaurant in Texas, you should go to San Antonio, as they seldom appear on menus anywhere else. While its origins are a bit murky, the beloved west side restaurant Malt House says it started selling them in 1949 and believes they were the first, though they soon became popular at other places around town such as MK Davis and Ray’s.

crispy dogs san antonio

For more history, I called the Malt House and spoke to the manager, Ivan Gonzalez. He graciously shared with me several stories about the restaurant, which his father took over in 1990 when the founding owner Herb McEwen died. His belief was that McEwen started selling the crispy dog to appeal to his customers who wanted both American food and Mexican food, making this truly a Tex-Mex dish.

Fortunately, they aren’t just limited to restaurants, as my San Antonio friends tell me that they grew up also eating them at home. They’d come home from school and their mom would fry up a few as an afternoon snack. Crispy dogs also make for fine game-watching grub, and if you pair them with some onion rings or beans they can even become a meal.

Crispy dogs are often served with the usual hot dog condiments such as yellow mustard and ketchup. Salsa, queso, chili and guacamole make for fine condiments, too. Lately, however, my favorite dipping sauce has been a mustard and mayonnaise concoction that’s livened up with diced jalapeños, crumbled bacon and a bit of cilantro, made as an homage to those bacon-wrapped Mexican hot dogs topped with mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeños.


crispy dogs san antonio

But no matter how you serve them, if you love hot dogs and you love flautas, you'll definitely love the crispy dog. It baffles me that they aren’t more popular, as they’re a wonderful addition to the vast array of regional hot dog variations. Though perhaps this is what makes crispy dogs so beloved to my San Antonio friends, as it’s a unique taste of their beautiful Texas home.

Crispy dogs with bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce

Ingredients for the bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce:
1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 slices cooked bacon, diced
1 jalapeño, seeds and stem removed, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Ingredients for the crispy dogs:
8 corn tortillas
8 hot dogs
4 ounces of cheddar cheese, cut into 16 sticks
Toothpicks
Oil for frying
Salsa for serving

Method:
To make the bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce, mix together the mustard, mayonnaise, bacon, jalapeño, garlic and cilantro. Add salt to taste and refrigerate while making the crispy dogs.

To heat up the tortillas, wrap them in foil and place in an oven set at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can wrap the tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.)

While the tortillas are heating, take each hot dog and make an incision down the center, lengthwise, making sure to not cut it all the way through. Stuff each split hot dog with 2 slices of the cheese.

When the tortillas are soft, place a cheese-stuffed hot dog in the center of the tortilla, roll to wrap and secure with toothpicks. In a heavy skillet, heat up 1 inch of oil to 350 degrees. Line a plate with paper towels. With a spatula, slide the tortilla-wrapped hot dogs into the oil and fry for about 30 seconds on each side or until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from the oil and drain on the paper-towel-lined plate.

Serve warm with bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce and salsa.

Yield: 2-4 servings

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74 comments:

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lisa, I'd much rather have a crispy dog than a corn dog. I never thought cornbread went with a hotdog, but a crispy corn tortilla goes with everything!

Janus said...

When I saw "Crispy Dogs" in the title, I'm afraid my first thought was the dietary confessions of a . . . certain politician.

These look good, but I think I would wrap the hot dog with a strip of bacon before wrapping it in the tortilla. Of course, that might require cooking it longer than 30 seconds.

Brenda said...

Hey Lisa, These are sold at the Allsup's convenience stores in Stephenville. They are wrapped in a flour tortilla, but still yummy. I had never eaten one until a couple of years back. Now I treat myself every few weeks or so. We have had such a beautiful spring here in central Texas. So many wildflowers and oh, the butterflies have just been amazing. Lived here all my life and never seen the likes of so many butterflies! Keep up the good work and yummy recipes coming.

Adrienne said...

Mind. Blown. As a rabid fan of hot dogs (my husband once built a picnic table out of snow and set up the grill so we could have hot dogs on my February birthday), I am ashamed that I did not know about this. But now that I do, I'm going to add it to my weekend to-do list.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Jean--Indeed, crispy corn tortillas do go with everything!

Janus--If you were going to wrap it in bacon, I'd try frying the wrapped dog in a pan before wrapping it in the tortilla and frying it so the bacon will cook. Also, you just take cooked bacon strips and roll them along with the dog as you'd still get bacon in every bite.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Brenda--I love Allsup's, such a good source of fried food when you're on the road. Will have to check out the one in Stephenville next time I'm in the area and try the flour tortilla wrapped dog. Sounds wonderful!

Adrienne--If you're a hot dog lover, it's a must!

Farmer Jen said...

Yum!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Homesick Texan--Yes they are!

Anonymous said...

Oh the memories. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the picture. The weenie flauta is one I always considered a "poor, people food" because my S.TX family didn't always have a chkn or beef filler. We did however, always have weenies which we ate many ways such as scrambled with eggs, cold in a hot, homemade flour tortilla or grilled the bbq way. I do remember helping my mother roll these and secure with a toothpick and there was nothing like the first juicy, crunchy bite. I still make them today but now I must try with the cheese inside. Thanks for my smile. I just might make some tonight.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--They're wonderful with the cheese, but I can imagine they're pretty good without. Thanks for sharing your memories!

Kim said...

Tolberts restaurant (now in Grapevine) has had this on the menu for years, except in flour tortillas. Man, I love those things.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Kim--Would you believe I've never been to Tolbert's? I need to go soon and I'll definitely order their flour-tortilla dogs. Thanks for letting us know!

Margaret said...

We used to have a 60's diner in Flower Mound called Memories that had these on the menu. They called them "Texas Tailpipes."

~Margaret

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Margaret--Love that name!

vanillasugarblog said...

now that's clever!
i need to try these with a baked bean dipping sauce. LOL

Judith - Texas said...

I have lived in Texas all my life and never heard of these....where have I been?? Going to the store to buy the ingredients - they most certainly will be served this weekend. Thanks for sharing this tasty and fun recipe.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Vanillasugar--Love it!

Judith--That's exactly what I said when I first heard about them.

Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies said...

Believe it or not, this San Antonian has never had a crispy dog. But I do *always* eat my kielbasa in a flour tortilla with mustard, the way we would get them at the Poteet Strawberry Festival. It's my favorite way to eat a "hot dog".

One thing I really do miss is the spicy, hot dog sized kielbasa you can get at HEB. I can't find anything like it up here.

Anonymous said...

Can these be baked instead of fried?

mountain mama cooks said...

Yes, what's NOT to love? These look sinfully delicious and look like I need to visit Texas soon if not just for a crispy dog. :-)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Amber--Kielbasa is always in my suitcase when I come back to NY. And I love it wrapped in a flour tortilla!

Anon--That's a good question! If you lightly oiled the tortillas and cooked them uncovered, they might crisp up a bit.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Mountain mama cooks--You do need to visit Texas soon!

Nancy said...

There used to be a drug store in downtown SA that also sold these. I would go to the beauty shop near there and the beauticians would take orders and go pick them up. I have tried to make them ever since then. I also make them with flour tortillas and spray Pam on the outside and bake, but nothing taste like a crispy dog!

Sivski said...

Wow, this sounds unbelievable! I'm faaaairly certain that nowhere in Ireland serves this so I'm gonna whip up a batch tonight!

ericrx said...

Lisa, I wonder if anyone's every tried a "Puffy Dog" version of this? I feel sure that either way it's gonna be some more good eating! -Eric Roberg

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Nancy--Great tips for baking, thanks!

Slvski--Yep, I doubt you'll find these in Ireland!

Eric--You're a mind reader! I've been thinking about experimenting with uncooked masa to see if I can make a puffy dog.

Diane said...

What memories! It was a happy day when my mother said she was not cooking a "big" dinner for us kids and was "only" going to cook us crispy dogs (no cheese) and home made French fries. Definitely need to try your sauce, which sounds yummy!

Ann from The Turquoise Table said...

Wow, I lived in SA for over 20 years and never had a crispy hotdog...wonder if they make them here in ABQ. Will definitely have to add green chile in there some how...maybe under the cheese.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Diane--What a great memory! Sounds like the perfect meal for kids.

Ann--If you find them in ABQ, please let us know!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

My grandson would love these (minus the dipping sauce), I'll have to make them this weekend for him and make the sauce for me and my son to enjoy!

Unknown said...

I have never heard of these before but as soon as I read this I picked up the tortillias from the store and am making these tonight, can't wait.... And I love the name Texas tailpipes :-D

FineTexan said...

In the 1970s I worked at an auto body shop as a bookkeeper and the painter would bring the boss and I 'crispy dogs' from home. That was my first taste even though I was born in San Antonio. I think it is one of those home cooked things people thought up. I also ate them later at MK Davis at Happy Hour! with our schooners of beer! That was when I worked at Metropolitan Hospital...I make them now and I crave them and my son loves them too although he does not live at home now. Usually dip in yellow mustard. Cheese always comes out and scorches so I gave it up.

Anonymous said...

My dad used to grill hot dogs after he stuffed cheese and a dill pickle inside and then wrapped in bacon. Maybe I will make those again and then wrap them in a corn tortilla and fry it!

Mary R said...

Should the hotdogs be pre-cooked? For some reason it doesn't seem to me that frying them would be enough to heat all the way through.....or does it? I want to make these for a cocktail party I have coming up!

Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits said...

Crispy Dogs, Texas Tailpipes...what's not to love? I used to make a version of these for my children. I'd wrap the cheese filled dog in a crescent roll and bake it. Thanks for sharing your tortilla version! :)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Rocky Mountain Woman--What a treat for your grandson!

Fine Texan--They would go very well with schooners of beer!

Anon--A pickle? I love that idea!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Mary R--After time in the oil, the hot dogs are plenty warm and juicy.

Jackie--That sounds wonderful! Like a high-class pig in blanket.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Mom use to make these tortilla dogs growing up in the 60s. We never used bread. What a delight.

MJ said...

Made them after church today. Great dish. The dipping sauce is amazing. Going to try that as a base for some deviled egg filling.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--They are a delight!

MJ--That makes my day--I'm so pleased you enjoyed them! Besides deviled eggs, I was thinking that the sauce would also go well in potato salad.

Debra Kapellakis said...

oh oh oh, I so want to eat these...

Anonymous said...

Made these this weekend. They were a big hit with the whole family. Thanks!

Sally said...

Looks like I need some corn tortillas! I have everything else. These look good.

Shelley said...

No matter how bad things are outside the house, a good meal prepared by a parent can make life tolerable.

Janus said...

Now if you really want to do something crazy, I would suggest putting the cooked crispy dog into a hot dog bun, and top it with chili.

mkh said...

I made these for a birthday party yesterday and they were gobbled up! Instead of your dip, though, I made a chipotle ranch dip. I took three chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, one bottle of ranch dressing, and three buds of garlic. Whirl in blender an dip away! Thanks for the recipe!

Tommy in Toronto said...

You guys in the USA have such an array of hotdogs to choose from. Sadly we cannot buy brands like Oscar Mayer, Ballpark, or Nathan's here in Canada.

US weiners are so much more flavourful than CDN hotdogs. Not sure what it is. Maybe you use better chemicals. And soft corn tortillas aren't exactly easy to find either.

Recipe looks divine though.Oh well, need a road trip to Buffalo to stock up.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts said...

What a fun idea! These sound great with the different dips!

V-Rap said...

So, I'm planning my 21st birthday party, with the theme being Princess Fiesta (perfect for any Texas princess :P) and these are beyond perfect. Thank you so much for posting! I tried them out on my fiance and they were a HUGE hit. I tried them with a bit of sour cream and chives as well as the other dips and they were great that way too. I'm going to put them out with a mustard dip, a bacon cheddar dip, the sour cream and of course, the bacon jalapeno (because it sounds so good!) and of course salsa!

Now I'm intrigued. I'm going to have to go through the recipe index and probably have WAY too much food at the party. But that'll be in Texas style. God big or go home, just don't go home hungry :)

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Leave it to you to 'Texafy' a hot dog! Complete genius. And that dipping sauce...

dmz said...

We live outside of London. Just made these and some Margaritas. Nothing better on a hot (80 degree) sunny day in Old Blighty!! Thanks for sharing!!

Kristin Eldridge Photography said...

Oh wow...I just gotta try this!!

Cooky in Texas said...

My friend tried this yesterday and said it was GREAT! She took the dogs out of the frying pan with tongs and let the oil drip off them before putting them on paper towels to drain. Used ordinary guacamole and salsa as dipping sauces to save time. Gotta try this on the grand-kiddos next time they visit! Another friend made the rolls for Cemitas and thought they were great too.

Jordan Fuselier-Gardner said...

Whelp, now I feel like a bad Texan having never had a crispy dog. I'll have to snag some hot dogs the next time I'm a the store and give this a whirl.

Gotta say though, nothing beats an 'on the go' breakfast like a hot dog wrapped in a flour tortilla and popped in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.

That's all I ate before school in middle school. Crispy dogs aren't too far of a jump. :)

RJ said...

Making this for dinner tomorrow...can't wait!!!! :-)

Mary R. said...

Lisa - thanks for responding to my question about cooking the hotdogs! I made these for a pre-movie screening cocktail party on Monday and they were a serious hit!

Seriously, two days later and my friends are craving more hotdogs!

Here's a tip for any other newbies tackling this recipe: I discovered that when making for a large group, it's good to prepare the hotdog and cheese part beforehand, but the corn tortilla shouldn't be rolled around until just before frying, otherwise it will break (at least mine did).

But once I got the hang of it, the process went really smoothly!

Also, I served without a dipping sauce and they were still hit. I'm sure a sauce would be a great complement though!

Thanks for an easy, tasty and economical recipe!

phsymom said...

Mmmmm, I remember my Mom making these, but I've never tried. I think this may end up on my "to do" list for this weekend.

BTW - what Fiesta location has the Mexican Hot Dog? I live and work near two different Fiesta's and have never seen them. :-(

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Phsymom--The Fiesta at 1960 and 249 is where I've seen them.

phsymom said...

Well OK, then ... not close but not too far for a once in a while trip from my job.

Hehehe.

KatietheKitchen said...

Your blog is making this Rocky Mountain Girl into a Texan at heart. I read it every week! Sometimes I check it every day...

I made these with the sauce for my brother and husband--it was a mighty victory! So cheap! So easy!

Now my mind is whirling with possible stuffings for the hot dog--jalapeno peppers? chipotle cheddar? sauerkraut and pickles?

cari e. said...

SO GREAT. I followed the recipe except for the sauce, since my boyfriend had a late shift and I was cooking for myself and felt kind of lazy. Instead, I just mixed some Cholula into some mayo, but the next time I make this I will go all out! Thank you for this recipe! I've never been to Texas, but your blog makes me want to visit.

Sarah said...

Hi Lisa..I just saw this & went straight to the kitchen & made 2 in my kitchen kettle fryer. They are great! I didn't have any corn tortillas so I made it with flour and put pre-fried bacon bits in with the cheddar cheese & weiner. SO delicious! I want to try with corn tortillas after I get to the store again!I have to watch the calories so I will use Jenno-O low fat weiners & turkey bacon next time. Thanks for the great snack food!!

Gus said...

Ohhh yeah! Crispy dogs.
I once made these for the kids of a large group of friends during a weekend beach camping trip in Port Aransas. One of the kids ran up to his father shouting,"DAD, THESE A GREAT!" The dad said,"What do you mean? I make those for you all the time."
The boys reply was,"But these are better. They have CHEESE in them!"

I always felt kinda bad about that.

Rebecca said...

Oh God. I've just found this post and you've brought back SO many memories! The Malt House ... Crispy Dogs!!! I was born and raised in San Antonio and I'd forgotten about crispy dogs. How could I forget them?? Really. THANKS for the reminder, I'm making one for my 5yr old ...

More Cowbell said...

Queso fresco instead of cheddar, some roasted green chilis, then the wrap and fry. I love them topped with chili, as you suggested or dipped in a cross between quacamole and salsa. Sounds kinda iffy, but sometimes I need some bite to my guac. ;) So glad you posted about these. Next time I'm in San Antonio it will be on my list.

SA Hombre said...

Huh, add me to the list of San Antonian's who hasn't had a crispy dog. Apparently it's something I've overlooked on the menu at both MK's and Malt House because I've never heard about it before. (Never eaten at Ray's...terrible parking.)
While I'm not a hotdog fan, this sounds like a great pairing for an ice-cold schooner of Shiner at MK's! As well as a great food booth option at NIOSA!

Tara720 said...

This reminds me of something my mom used to make when we were kids called Texas Tommy's. No idea where the name came from, but it was a hot dog, a slice of cheese, and bacon all wrapped up in a crescent roll.

Anonymous said...

Love these ! However, The ACTUAL originator of the crispy dog was
Osvaldo Rodriguez from the famous Paul mariz
Restaurant - no longer around before the malt house
Ever started making Mexican food. He was my moms second uncle
and it's been a family recipe for decades. We love them !!
David Arcos

Anonymous said...

MMMM. gonna make these for the kids. I think I will try some refried or mashed baked beans spread on the tortilla first. Thanks for the recipe, and your wonderful blog! :) Sorry about the anonymous thing, I don't have any other way to post this. :)

john m said...

I've always assumed Tolbert's invented these. Over there they call 'em donkey tails.

Anonymous said...

WE were wondering the name of the place that had these dogs back in 1955 close to Lackland. It had a driveup but you could go in, they had keg beer. Wasn't much of a place but the food was good, they had hamburgers too.

Addlepated said...

They sold these at Sill's Snack Shack in SA, along with the always imitated (but never duplicated) beanburger, which they invented. There also used to be a place on Barton Springs Rd. in Austin called The Filling Station that had them. Yum. Go Spurs Go.

Anonymous said...

They had these on the kids menu at a Mexican restaurant near Six Flags Over Texas, but they called them Burros Tails. It was the only item I ever ate there.

Aquaria said...

Bwahahaha. These are popular all over Texas, ever since I can remember, and I now qualify for AARP.

It had spread to East Texas by the 50s, since my mother remembers having it when she lived at home. Her mother called them Serape Dogs. My mother hadn't heard the word serape before, so she asked what it meant the first time they had some Serape Dogs, and my grandmother tartly replied that it was [Mexican racist slur] Pigs in a Blanket. I won't repeat the slur.

I usually dipped them in salsa, guac or chimichurri, but in a pinch, a mustard-mayonnaise mix isn't half bad.

The bean burger is quite beautifully duplicated at Chris Madrid's, although I haven't been there since Chris died.

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