This is my contribution to 4th of July celebrations. Even though I’m in Australia, I’ll be having a BBQ to celebrate!
It doesn’t take much for me to get enthused about get togethers with my fabulous friends. Even last Friday when I was out with the girls and we were talking about our annual Christmas party (yes – 6 months out), I instantly raised my hand and chirped “I’ll do the food!”.
Whether it’s a game, a birthday, baby shower, hen’s night or out of town visitor, I’ll jump on any opportunity to host a get together.
4th of July is one such get together. Born in Japan, raised in Australia, I’ve travelled throughout the US a handful of times and have very fond memories. From NYC to Washington, Miami to LA, San Fran, Texas and New Orleans, I had so so much fun (and food) everywhere I visited.
So I’ve celebrated 4th of July almost every year since I first visited the US and this year is no exception. It is actually winter in Sydney, but our winter is very mild. We will grill outdoors and I’ll be making hot dogs, ribs, potato salad, corn on the cob and I guess I have to provide a green salad too.
Not just any old hot dogs though – these Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs! Smothered with the most awesome ever cheese sauce (that stays gorgeously creamy even when it’s cool and it’s NOT made with plastic cheese!).
Oh! Before I forget – few photos of how to roll the hot dogs up in bacon. Super simple – just place the hot dog on the bacon on an angle, then roll it and secure the top and bottom with toothpicks that have been soaked in water. If you are cooking them on the outdoor grill, then the toothpicks won’t get in the way of browning the bacon all over because they kind of poke down in between the slats.
But if you are cooking this on the flat plate side of the BBQ or on the stove, then use scissors to trim the toothpicks so they don’t poke out. Makes it much easier to evenly brown the bacon all over.
And a little close up of the cheese sauce for you…it’s SO good. It’s based on the Nachos Cheese Dip and Sauce that I shared previously. It’s special because it’s not made with plastic cheese and yet it stays creamy even when it cools down. Here’s a picture of it when it’s at room temperature. See how it’s nice and creamy still? Almost like the consistency of mayonnaise. So it’s perfect for using as a dolloping sauce for these hot dogs.
In reality, I dollop a LOT more cheese sauce on these hot dogs. If I used as much as I normally do, you wouldn’t be able to see anything else – including (probably) the bun!!! So for the purposes of the photos only, I used restraint. Extreme restraint.
– Nagi x
PS You know what happened two seconds after I snapped the photo, don’t you? Yes, I grabbed one of those hot dogs, piled on more cheese sauce. And grinned happily as I savoured every single bite. Can’t wait to make these for my friends next weekend!!
- 2½ cups grated cheddar or tasty cheese, or any other good melting cheese
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (corn flour)
- 1 can evaporated milk (375g / 12oz)
- ½ tsp onion powder (optional - adds extra flavour)
- ½ tsp garlic powder (optional - adds extra flavour)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 to 2 tbsp milk
- 6 hot dogs (American style - Note 1)
- 6 strips of streaky bacon, long enough to wrap each hot dog
- 12 toothpicks, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 4 brown onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 6 soft hot dog buns
- ¼ cup bacon, diced
- Toss together the cheese and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
- Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally for the first couple of minutes then frequently as the cheese melts. Whisk until the Cheese Sauce is smooth (about 5 minutes).
- Remove from the stove and let it cool to room temperature. Whisk vigorously every 5 minutes or so to blend the "skin" that forms on the surface into the Cheese Sauce.
- Once it is at room temperature, use the milk to make the consistency suitable for dolloping onto the hot dogs.
- Trim the edges of the bacon so they wrap neatly without overlapping.
- Lay a strip of bacon on a work surface. Place a hot dog on the bacon on the diagonal. Then roll up the hot dog in bacon. Use a toothpick to secure each end. (See photo below)
- If you are cooking the hot dogs on the stove or flat iron side of the BBQ, use scissors to trim the toothpicks so they aren't sticking out. (Note 2)
- Brush the grill side with oil and drizzle the remaining oil on the flat iron side of the BBQ. Then heat on medium high (or do this in a frypan over medium high on the stove).
- On the flat iron side, add the onion and cook until dark golden brown. Cook the extra Bacon for Garnish at the same time (if using).
- On the grill side, cook the hot dogs, turning until nicely browned all over.
- Partially cut the hot dog buns. Place a bacon wrapped hot dog in the bun, top with onion, a generous amount of Cheese Sauce and Bacon for Garnish (if using).
2. You should not need to trim the toothpicks if you are cooking them on the grill side of the BBQ as I find that the toothpicks poke through the grill so it's easy to brown them all over. It's not possible to do it in a frypan which is why the toothpicks need to be trimmed.
3. This can also be made in the OVEN. 375F/190C for around 20 minutes. (Reader tip!)
Nutrition per hot dog assuming 2/3 of the cheese sauce is used (because the recipe makes more than required).