Welcome to the last Thursday in July. That would make today National Chili Dog Day. I don’t know about you, but I am a big, big fan of Chili Dogs.
Let’s take a quick step back for just a minute. While today is the last Thursday in July, it’s also the 28th of July – National Buffalo Soldier Day. Buffalo Soldiers, so named by Native Americans, were first formed as all black regiments in the Army during the Civil War. When the war was over, many of the Buffalo Soldiers went on to patrol routes used by settlers during America’s mass western expansion. When the US realized the need to preserve our national wonders for generations to come, National Parks were quickly established. While great on paper, the government put the cart before the horse. Lands were set aside, but there was no park services assigned to the land. No rangers to preserve and protect these treasures. And so it was that the Buffalo Soldiers became some of the first to serve as Park Rangers.
Theirs is a history rich in honor, duty and sacrifice. One that should be remembered with pride. We would not have our National Parks with all their beauty if not for the contributions of the early Park Rangers.
Okay, let’s get back to the yummy stuff. So often when we have a chili cheese dog, it’s served in a giant bun. While I love a chili cheese dog in a fluffy bun that has been slathered with mayonnaise, there are times when I’d like a little less bread. That’s when I realized tortillas can wrap just about anything and be delicious – so why not a hot dog smothered in chili? Yeah, that’s good! Happy Chili Dog Day.
Tortilla Wrapped Chili Dogs
4 Foot-Long Beef Hot Dogs
1 tablespoon Bacon Drippings
1 can Dennison Hot Chili
1/4 Yellow Onion
4 Burrito Size Flour Tortillas
2 sliced American Cheese
Warm a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt bacon drippings in the skillet. Add hot dogs. Pour water into the skillet to create a steam-bath. Cover skillet and cook dogs for about 15 minutes. Uncover, let water evaporate. Grill hot dogs in the skillet until the skin begins to blister, turning as needed.
While the hot dogs cook, gently warm chili in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Dice onion, set aside. Warm tortillas, set aside.
To assemble, slice cheese into strips. Lay strips down the center of the tortillas. Place hot dog on top of the cheese. Ladle chili around the dog, top with diced onion.
Wrap chili dog in flour tortillas. Place on a griddle pan to lightly brown tortilla. Serve with fries or tater tots and enjoy.