Throwback of the House: A Study in Contrasts with Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs

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Todd Ehlers, Wikimedia Commons
When my friend Kelly gave me her copy of 1968's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Cookbook, I thought it might be hard to find a bad recipe in a book published by the company that made New York hot dogs famous. Then I saw the cover, illustrated with a photo of a glass of wine and a crown roast made of hot dogs. Even classics can bring the suck.

The Nathan's book swings from hot-dog delights to nightmares, encompassing the best and worst of human creativity.

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Robin Wheeler
On the upside, Hot Dog Nutty Fritters. Take a Nathan's dog, butterfly it, fill the opening with peanut butter, wrap in bacon and grill. I'm from the home of the Guber Burger, so I don't have taboos about mixing peanut butter with anything. This white trash-style rumaki was damn near perfect with its oh-so-saltiness. My husband and I agreed that it's probably a bad thing that we know this recipe, because we might make it every week. For Christmas this year, we'd like gout gear because we'll surely be afflicted by then.

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Robin Wheeler
The downside? Hot Dog Salad Dressing. For six servings, grind eight hot dogs with one-half teaspoon dry mustard, two tablespoons milk, one tablespoon pickle relish and one-third cup of mayo. Think about that for a second. That's 1.3 hot dogs per salad serving. This is nothing more than a ploy to sell hot dogs.

A better idea: Buy a package of Nathan's hot dogs. Throw directly in trash.

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