lodge-style hot dog
of lodge 2, posthumously, as recorded by magister wayne miller

Necessity is the mother of invention.

College is the mother of junk food.

A pan-seared split hot dog with charred onions, BBQ sauce, Dijonnaise, and melted cheese on a crisped potato bun might not seem like haute cuisine to you, but we didn't exactly have foie gras and Sauternes sitting around on those late drunken nights (or early drunken mornings). We made do.

The initial inspiration for these hot dogs is the big honking cast iron skillet I have. It's my one true possession, it's followed me everywhere. It's heavy, it holds heat like nothing else, it can blacken catfish and fry eggs and sear steaks. It had the appropriate level of machismo for drunken sophomore males. No goddamn Teflon here, thank you very much.

We started out trying to one-up the fry-guys in the college cafeteria. Greg, fellow collegiate drunk, and I were enthralled by the fry-guys' method for preparing cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, etc. Step 1: Flatten the sandwich to within an inch of its life. Step 2: After applying the cheese, sprinkle water around the sandwich and cover.

Greg took this Fire and Water motif and ran with it. We now had all the tools for collegiate, manly, drunken cooking: a big honking screamin'-hot cast iron skillet, live steam, and salient metaphors concerning the interaction of binary opposites. What more could one ask for from haute cuisine?

olive oil
hot dog bun, preferably made from potato bread
1/4 small onion, thinly sliced
hot dog (I like Ballpark)
BBQ sauce (K.C. Masterpiece, Jack Daniel's, ideally Bone' Suckin' Sauce)
thinly sliced cheese (monterey jack, american, cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, or any combination of the above will work)
Put your cast iron skillet on the stove. Put the burner on mofo. Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil into the pan.* Open up the bun and place it face side down on the skillet. Make sure it's coated with oil. Press the bun flat against the skillet. Cook for about 30 seconds or until the face is golden brown. Flip the bun; cook it until golden brown. Remove to a plate.

Place the onion slices in the pan. Brown them up a little bit, then move to one side of the skillet. Slice the hot dog lengthwise to split it open, but be careful not to separate it into two pieces. Place face side down on the skillet and press down on the dog with the spatula. The burner is still on mofo, so by now the skillet should be screaming hot. Sear until the dog is partially blackened. Flip dog on to the other side.

Now, quickly place the onions on top of the hotdog. Add a little bit of BBQ sauce and Dijonnaise. Cover with cheese. Take a metal lid that fits the pan or just fits over the dog, place a little bit of water on it, and place the lid over the dog. Stand back.

After 15 seconds, lift lid to behold beautifully melted cheese. Turn off burner; remove dog from pan and put on bun.

Mangia mangia.

*Greg's variation: Pour 2 inches of oil into the skillet to deep-fat fry the bun.