Summer Hot Dogs and Fried Green Tomatoes

Hot Dogs! Simple right!? If you’re boiling a hot dog for a 4 year old or if you’re a college student microwaving a quick snack hot dogs are okay in a pinch. Is it possible to make a real delicious meal of a hot dog. YES, I dare say it might be. I know hot dogs get a bad wrap but if you buy good quality all beef hotdogs it might not be as bad as you think.

This starts with good products. Today we grilled our dogs on an indoor grill pan then once the dogs are in the buns I put it back on the grill to toast up the bottom of the bun. This is better than pre toasting the bun and letting it get too crunchy and dried out. There’s no recipe for preparing hot dogs. Everyone has their favorite method. The magic comes with the toppings and sides.

tableanddish_hotdogs-9604Our favorite 5 bean baked beans pair perfectly with a grilled dog. The recipe was originally titled “Funeral Beans” because my friend Claudia, who passed on the recipe on to me, often brings this dish to the Funeral mass ministry to serve those morning the loss of their loved ones. It’s that comforting and delicious! We’ve tweaked the recipe over time so if it’s all the same I’m going to call this dish 5 Bean Baked Beans.

tableanddish_hotdogs-9553Tonight we also made a Fennel Slaw to serve with and on our dogs. It’s light and fresh with just the right amount of crunch then a hint of sweetness from the apples. I noticed at the market that the tops were cut off the fennel so I asked if they had any uncut and sure enough they did, The feathery fronds have great flavor and they’re pretty.  And how about that cute assistant. Hi Marko!

tableanddish_hotdogs-9629Lastly, my favorite part of our meal, fried green tomatoes. FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!  I ‘m screaming it.  Oh my goodness these are good. Iconic summer food! I was so thrilled to find a big basket of green tomatoes at Heinen’s. Supper crunchy, sweet and topped with tangy buttermilk ranch dressing. At 11pm they are delicious cold.  Yes, I ate the last one, sorry guys!

tableanddish_hotdogs-9623tableanddish_hotdogs-9537tableanddish_hotdogs-9645tableanddish_hotdogs-9544tableanddish_hotdogs-9549tableanddish_hotdogs-95425 Bean Baked Beans


  • 2 pounds bacon chopped
  • 1 Large sweet onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBS corse grain mustard
  • 55 oz can Bushes Baked Beans
  • 15.5 oz can red kidney beans drained
  • 15.5 oz can butter beans drained
  • 15.5 oz black beans
  • 15.5 oz black eye’d peas


In a large duch oven sautee bacon until crispy. Add onion and cook until translucent.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Mix and bake at 350° 40-60 minutes.

Fried Green Tomatoes


Vegetable oil for frying
4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rings
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter milk
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch paprika
for the sauce,

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 cup Buttermilk


In a deep-fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.
Season tomatoes, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Place flour and garlic powder in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk. In another dish, mix bread crumbs with cayenne and paprika. Dredge tomatoes through the flour, then the eggs, and then through the bread crumbs. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so they can cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve with
Ranch dreassing made from 1 cup mayo 1 cup butter milk and one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch mix. Refrigerate before serving.

Fennel slaw


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced crosswise, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 firm, crisp apple (such as Pink Lady, Gala, or Granny Smith), julienned
1 cucumber peeled and julienned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add celery and celery leaves, thinly sliced fennel and chopped fennel fronds, and apple; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



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