Did you know that July is National Hot Dog Month? OK, I didn't either until I saw a post about it online somewhere. Supposedly there's also a specific hot dog day this month but I don't remember which day it is. As far as I'm concerned summer is national hot dog season and I think we should celebrate often.
I grew up in New York, famous for it's "dirty water dogs" from street carts. Loaded with mustard (New Yorkers take their dogs with mustard) and all the toppings, they're delicious and we didn't spend too much time worrying about what was in them. Likewise, I've rarely attended a cocktail party of any kind that didn't include a tray of pigs in a blanket. Little baby hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry, sometimes with cheese, and baked until poofy and golden brown. I could eat them by the tray full, even though I try to restrain myself.
Now, I love puff pastry as much as anybody but whenever I see a recipe that traditionally uses it, I wonder what would happen if I substituted instead. Less poofy (that's a technical culinary term) and much more flaky but it brings a unique flavor and texture. Clearly some dogs needed to be wrapped in it ASAP.
Pork is not typically eaten in Middle Eastern cuisine due to dietary laws but my supermarket is full of beef and turkey hot dog options. There's also a whole variety of interesting chicken sausages to choose from that would work well. I gave it a tiny bit of za'atar to season the fillo but the dog was salty enough. It was crunchy and delicious!
- 2 Sheets frozen fillo dough, thawed
- 2 Hot dogs (I used beef) or other similar sausage
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of za'atar
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Gently unroll the thawed sheets of fillo dough. Using a pastry brush, coat one sheet with a bit of the olive oil, sprinkle on a small pinch of za'atar, top with the second sheet and coat that one as well. Sprinkle another small pinch of za'atar on the top sheet of dough.
Using a sharp knife, cut the two sheets in half and place one half on top of the other. Then slice those in half vertically.
Place one hot dog at the bottom of each half of fillo dough and roll up. Place, seem side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the fillo pastry is a light golden brown. Serve hot with your choice of topping like hummus or mustard.