My family and I spend a lot of time at the softball fields throughout Southern California. At times it feels as if we have been to literally every community south of San Luis Obispo.
We always try to pack a cooler of food, so we don't go broke at the local snack bars. However, much like traveling throughout America, there are regional softball specialties, and when they pop up, they are hard to resist.
I happen to enjoy the tournaments where authentic carne asada is being served. I'm not into Taco Bell, and there is nothing that can compare with carne asada being prepared the way God intended–hot and sizzling off the grill, warm little corn tortillas, onion and cilantro and lots and lots of salsa verde. It is a near religious experience.
However, last week there wasn't a taco cart in sight. In fact, all we could see was scrub brush and a few distant mountains. We were in Menifee, California, where the fields are nice but the tournament was "short on snacks and shade," according to my son.
That is, until, the second day of the tournament. Past the power lines and vacant fields, there it was, rising like a Phoenix out of the desert, a little park with two ball fields, a play structure and a portable snack stand proudly proclaiming it was "Home of the Bacon Dog."
Right then, I knew where all my money would be spent, for the boy child has a thing for bacon. In fact, I may have to enroll him in a 12-step detox program. To him, if two pieces of bacon are good, then ten must be better. His arteries are screaming at the young age of 13.
In any case, the Bacon Dog was a glorious thing to behold–an all beef quarter-pound hot dog, lovingly wrapped in a blanket of bacon, cooked to perfection on an open grill. This lunch meat aberration is then nestled in a fresh bun and smothered in grilled onions.
Normally, a chatty child, my son was quiet for a full 10 minutes as he ate this dog-to-behold. When he came up for air, he had a happy smile on his face. Life is good when wrapped in bacon.
Fortunately, there is no need for you to drive to the high dessert to enjoy the wonders of the bacon dog. You, too, can conjure up this ball park treat, although the atmosphere at your home will be decidedly comfier than the original.
- 1 package 1/4 pound all beef hot dogs (get the good stuff)
- 1 package apple wood smoked bacon (not thick cut)
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon oil
- good bakery buns
- ketchup & mustard
The day before your barbecue, carefully wrap each hot dog individually with a strip of bacon (like candy cane stripes). Place them in the freezer overnight, and keep them frozen until ready for use.
Preheat your griddle or grill. In a saute pan, saute sliced onions in a little bit of olive oil at medium heat. Add a dash of salt. Set aside.
On hot griddle or grill, cook the bacon wrapped hot dogs until heated through and nicely browned. Place in bun and top with sauteed onions. Add ketchup and mustard if you wish.