Chili dogs generally are considered summer food.
Which makes sense. Hot dogs tossed in a bun and slathered with chili and shredded cheese does tend to scream summer casual (and heartburn, but that’s another matter).
But those flavors do go so nicely together, I wondered if there was a way to capture the spirit of the meal in a form better suited to fending off the chill of a winter night.
In converting the recipe I saw no reason to mess around too much with the hot dog or chili topping. Why ruin a good thing? So I instead focused on the starch. A bun just wasn’t going to cut it. I considered pasta, but that’s too close to Cincinnati chili (spaghetti topped with chili and cheese).
Roasted potatoes were the right flavor, but wrong texture. Mashed, however, were just right. The resulting recipe oozes comfort and warmth. And since you don’t have to worry about toppings spilling out of the bun, it’s also easier to load up on extras, such as sour cream and jalapeno peppers.
Winter Chili Dogs
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup milk
Salt and ground black pepper
15-ounce can vegetarian baked beans
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 hot dogs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream, to serve
Chopped pickled jalapeno slices, to serve
Chopped red onion, to serve
Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.
Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Add the butter and milk, then mash until chunky smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
While the potatoes cook, in a small saucepan over medium heat combine the baked beans, tomato paste, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, then cover and set aside.
Heat a grill pan to medium-high. Add the hot dogs and cook until heated through and browned on all sides, about 6 to 7 minutes.
To serve, divide the mashed potatoes between four serving plates. Top each with a hot dog, then ladle the beans over them. Top with cheese, sour cream, jalapenos and red onion.
Approximate nutrition per serving: 880 calories, 53 grams fat (24 grams saturated, 53 percent fat calories), 27 grams protein, 79 grams carbohydrate, 140 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams dietary fiber, 1,830 milligrams sodium.