Double Dog for Delaware

On the National Day Front, today is French Fry Day, Beans and Franks Day and National Delaware Day. Delaware is recognized as the first State in the Union, as it was the first colony to declare independence from British rule and the first to adopt a territorial state constitution.

The state motto is Liberty and Freedom, which is fitting enough, but Delaware should be known as the land of firsts. The first Swedish settlement was built in Delaware in 1638. They built a church that still stands. The Holy Trinity Church is one of the oldest churches in America. The first log cabins built on American soil were in Delaware. The first time the Stars and Strips flew during the War for Independence was during the only battle to take place on Delaware soil.

When it comes to foods, the people of Delaware have developed interesting taste buds. The foods of Delaware are influenced by Philadelphia, the beaches and country life of Southern Delaware. Dishes such as Cheesesteak, Blue Crabs, Delaware Dogs and Disco Fries make the list of most popular. So do things like Scrapple and Fried Oreos. The Fried Oreos are a gimme – a staple at just about any state fair, but the Scrapple was another story, definitely an acquired taste.

The Delaware Dog is nothing new – split a hot dog, grill or griddle-fry the dog and slap it into a bun. How the dog is finished depends upon which of the Hot Dog Stands you’ve selected. At the Dog House, foot-longs are so popular, diners are shoulder-to-shoulder at the lunch counter. While the Delaware Destroyer at Johnnie’s Hot Dog House takes the standard chili with onion topping and goes one step further with Macaroni and Cheese. The most unique Hot Dog Stand has to be the Hot Dog Guy on the Delaware River. They say his dogs are good, but who cares? What a great way to dine!

My personal favorite to recreate at home is the Deerhead’s Double Dog. The amount of chili, mustard and onions piled on might seem like overkill. They need to be since not one but two dogs are served up on a single bun.

As for the popular Disco fries, I haven’t a clue how a late-night staple from New Jersey because so popular in Delaware. It really doesn’t matter, because these fries are awesome. Disco Fries are cheesy fries only one better – the rich, buttery brown gravy.

It only makes sense to pair the Delaware Chili Dog with the Crinkle Disco Fries for one delicious diner-style meal. While the chili has no beans (for Beans and Franks) we do have the dog and the fries, so we nearly nailed all the National Days for July 13th in one shot. Not bad.

Delaware Chili Dog
The Chili

3 large Yellow Onions, chopped divided
3 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 cup Chili Powder
2 tablespoons additional Chili Powder
1-1/2 tablespoons Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 (6 oz) can Tomato Paste
2 (15 oz) cans Tomato Sauce
3-1/2 cups Beef Stock
1/2 cup Yellow Mustard

Peel and chop two onions, set aside. Peel and chop remaining onion, set aside separately.

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef with two of the chopped onions, stirring frequently. Break up the meat as it browns. Once cooked through and no longer pink, drain well. Return the meat mixture to the pot. Add all the chili powder, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Stir to blend. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce and beef stock. Stir, then add yellow mustard. Mix well.

Simmer over low heat for 1 hour 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining chopped onion, simmer an additional 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to assemble.

The Dogs
8 Foot-Long Hot Dogs
1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
4 Steak Roll Buns
Yellow Mustard

Heat a griddle to medium heat. Split hot dogs lengthwise almost all the way through to butterfly the dogs. Once the griddle is hot, griddle-fry the dogs until cooked trough and blistered, about 6 minutes per side. (If necessary, press down on the dogs with a spatula to keep them from curling as they cook).

While the dogs are cooking, peel and dice half of an onion. Set aside.

To assemble: Split open the steak rolls. Place 2 griddled hot dogs on each roll. Ladle with chili, top with chopped onions and a squirt of mustard.

Crinkled Disco Fries
The Gravy
2 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons Flour
1 cup Beef Stock
1 tablespoon Sherry
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Kosher Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once foamy, add flour and whisk to combine. Cook the flour until a dark brown roux is made, about 6 minutes.

Add the stock to the roux, whisking until the mixture is smooth and thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sherry, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat, cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the gravy to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside.

The Fries
2 lbs Frozen Crinkle-cut French Fries

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread fries out on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Place in the oven and cook 20 minutes, shaking the pan half way through the cooking time.

While the fries are cooking in the oven, make the cheese sauce.

The White Cheese Sauce
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Flour
3/4 cup Milk
2 oz White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 oz Gruyere Cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Kosher Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook until the color of sand, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, continue to whisk until the mixture begins to boil and thicken, about 3 minutes longer.

Add the cheeses, continue to cook, stirring, until the cheeses have fully melted into the sauce, about 3 minutes. Add the Worcestershire Sauce, season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat, cover with plastic pressed directly on the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.

When the French Fries are ready, transfer fries to a serving platter. Drizzle fires with the warm gravy, then top with plenty of warm cheese sauce. Serve immediately.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

4 thoughts on “Double Dog for Delaware”

  1. What a fun post! Delaware is an interesting and rather overlooked state. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland and Virginia (Southern Delaware is known as “Delmarva”) all rather “bleed” into it, especially in the beach towns. I haven’t been there in some time, but next time, I’ll have to try one of those dogs!

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