About three weeks ago I developed a herniated disc. I’d already been dealing with a badly wrenched back that was getting a bit of chiropractic care when I slipped on the stairs while bringing down the eviscerated mouse carcass my cat had proudly left in the bedroom–I figured it was a good idea to get rid of it before my 4-year-old woke up and found it first. The stairs in my circa-1850 home are narrow and steep and I was in my socks. Slipped off the lip of one step, skipped the next one entirely and came down hard on my heels on the third. It’s a source of some pride that I didn’t end up flinging the mouse.
Two weeks ago my herniated disc decided to kill me. It knocked me down and put me in the ER. Since then I’ve basically been on my back. I manage little bouts of walking–I believe my record is currently six minutes on my feet. But I haven’t sat comfortably for more than three. Truth be told, I’m writing this while lying on my stomach on the living room floor. It’s the most comfortable I’ve been in a while.
With all this going on, is it any wonder I was craving the healing powers of our friend the hot dog? Of course, I’m in no condition to travel. (I made the trip to New England Baptist for a cortizone shot last week by lying down in the back of my wife’s Cherokee. Now that was something…) But a devoted hot dog fan never really needs to hit the local HDJ to find a Really Good Dog. Sometimes salvation is just a fridge away–and the 0ther day, I needed savin’.
Knowing that I’d only have a few minutes at a time and no time for anything too clever or complicated, I assembled my forces:
The center of attention: Oscar Meyer Angus Franks. The wife picked them up in her never-ending search for food without too many chemicals in it. These have no nitrates. The supporting cast includes Good Housekeeping’s “Good Food” brand sweet chipotle mustard (I keep a minimum of 8-10 mustards in the fridge at any given time), celery salt and a bag of “Fancy 3-Cheese Blend.”
As an aside, the cheese? It’s just three different cheddars. Fancy? No. Queso blanco, asiago and Jarlsberg–now that would be fancy. It would probably taste like a homeless guy’s coat, but it would be fancy.
So that was the starting lineup. And then, as the dogs simmered gently, inspiration struck:
This, my friends, is Dirty Dick’s Hot Pepper Sauce with a Tropical Twist–once known by the more interesting if less enticing name “Oral Abuse sauce.” This is, quite simply, one of the best hot sauces I’ve ever tasted. It’s a habanero sauce, but it’s cut with–ready for this?–mango, pineapple, banana and sultanas, a dried white grape. This is my go-to sauce when I make burritos. It brings a great mix of heat & sweet. And I decided it was going on these dogs because I believe that hot sauce cures everything. By the way, I included the link to save you the relative indignity of someone looking through your search history and seeing “Dirty Dick’s” in there. You’re welcome.
I took a pic of the rolls smeared with the mustard, but to say the resultant photos were unappetizing would be a woeful understatement. But here are the dogs, bunned up, resting on the chipotle mustard and money-shot with the hot sauce.
And, of course, a small heart attack’s worth of cheese. Then it’s into the broiler for two minutes. I would have taken a shot of the dogs in the broiler, but if you saw the inside of my desperately-needs-replacing electric oven you’d never come for dinner. Even I’m a little iffy about it.
And voila. Not the most flattering of photos, but as it turns out, this was a dang fine idea. The mix of the mustard and the hot sauce played nicely together to bring a varying level of heat and I quite like the flavor of these Angus dogs–thick and meaty and decently spiced, they’re worth checking out.
Meanwhile, I continue to heal, driven in part by my desire to return to the neverending quest for the RGD. Luckily, every now and then I can find ’em right here at home.