Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts with Horseradish Mustard
Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts

Some might think this Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts with Horseradish Mustard recipe as some sort of gourmet grilled hot dog. But, to me, it's still just basic backyard grilling!

Even the chefs of fine restaurants sometimes like to get back to the basics, especially when we grill. Part of the fun of a backyard barbecue is that it's down to earth. So, let's have some simple, delicious food!

That doesn't mean, of course, that I cook my grilled main courses right out of the hot dog package or slap down those pre-shaped patties from the meat counter, peeling off the little squares of waxed paper that separate them. I buy organic, freshly ground beef with enough fat in it to give the burgers some moisture and flavor -- like a ground chuck or sirloin with 15 to 20 percent fat.

As for the hot dogs, I start by looking for the best quality I can find. That doesn't mean I go for fancier fresh sausages. No, I look for the best local hot dogs, or frankfurters, as they're traditionally called. These might come in a vacuum-wrapped package. Or, if you shop at a quality market or butcher shop, you might find loose links for sale made by a good local supplier.

I prefer beef franks, although those made with pork or a blend of the two will do well, also. But I keep an eye out for thicker hot dogs, almost as hefty as knackwurst, rather than the skinny kind, because these provide the opportunity to stuff them with cheese.

That's right. A simple lengthwise slit along the sausage, cutting deep into it but not all the way through, gives you the chance to fill it with your favorite melting cheese. Try Gruyere, Cheddar, or some other cheese you like that can be sliced for easy insertion into the hot dog.

But how do you keep the cheese in? Simple: Wrap the hot dog in bacon before you cook it. Then, add a customized condiment like my Horseradish Mustard, and you're ready for a feast on a bun. And that bun, of course, should be a good-quality one from your local bakery, sturdy enough to stand up to this jumbo hot dog, baked with maybe an embellishment of onions or poppy seeds -- or plain, if you prefer.

Sure, some people might think of this Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts with Horseradish Mustard as some sort of gourmet grilled hot dog. But, to me, it's still just basic backyard grilling!

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Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts with Horseradish Mustard

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook time: 12 minutes

    Yield: Serves 6

Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts with Horseradish Mustard Ingredients

    1/4 cup mayonnaise

    1/4 cup sour cream

    1/4 cup prepared grated horseradish, drained of excess liquid

    1/4 cup Dijon mustard

    1 tablespoon honey

    1 tablespoon minced shallots

    1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

    1 tablespoon lemon juice


    Freshly ground black pepper

    6 slices Gruyere cheese, 1/2 ounce each

    6 thin rashers lean smoked bacon

    6 organic, nitrite-free, all-beef hot dogs

    6 bakery-style hot dog buns, split

Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts with Horseradish Mustard Recipe Instructions

    Preheat an outdoor or indoor grill or broiler; or preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, mustard, honey, shallots, chives, and lemon juice.

    Stir until thoroughly blended, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    With a small, sharp knife, carefully cut a slit lengthwise along each hot dog, cutting about two thirds of the way through all along its length.

    Stuff a slice of cheese into the slit all along the length of each hot dog, folding and breaking up the slice as necessary to fit it in.

    Wrap a slice of bacon around each hot dog, spiraling it diagonally as you wrap it; use a wooden toothpick to secure the end of each bacon strip to the end of each hot dog.

    When the grill or broiler is ready, cook the hot dogs, placing them around the sides of the grill or the edges of the broiler tray so they aren't directly over or under the heat. Cook, turning every 1 to 2 minutes to guard against charring, until the hot dogs are hot and the bacon is uniformly crisp, 8 to 10 minutes total. If baking them in the oven, arrange the hot dogs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the upper third of the oven until the bacon is crisp, about 12 minutes.

    During the last few minutes of cooking, open the buns and lightly toast with their cut sides facing the heat. Or warm them in the oven for a few minutes.

    As soon as the hot dogs are ready, shield your fingertips with a folded paper towel and pull out the toothpicks from their ends. Place a bacon-wrapped hot dog in each bun and serve immediately, passing the horseradish sauce for each person to add to taste.

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Gruyere-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Melts Recipe with Horseradish Mustard

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