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

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.

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.

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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