The Grilled Cheese Dog
Just because something sounds like a good idea, doesn’t mean it always is. That rule applies to many things in life, but I find it most applicable in the kitchen. I am a good (though not great) cook when it comes to techniques, but my ideas for new dishes are usually wildly off base. That is where these kitchen monstrosities are spawned from. Some play this game when drunk, others play when all the food in the house is odds and ends, but one thing is for certain, either a beautiful meal of the gods is created, or the agony of defeat and acid reflux fill the remainder of the evening.
It had been a long night. Just returned from my girlfriend’s place after God knows how many (too many, that’s for sure) Kate Hudson movies. I’m a man, and the little bit of soup she had made to fight off the winter’s chill was, well, less than adequate. Flinging open the refrigerator and standing in its glow, I rifled through what was left from this week’s trip to the grocery store. Hotdog? That might do. Chili dog? That would be better.
There is no time to make chili, my stomach will have collapsed on itself by then. I reach for the canned stuff only to have my hopes dashed by the realization that my cabinet was completely can-less. A hotdog alone cannot cure my appetite. A couple of them? Closer, but still not enough. Another quick scan of the refrigerator and my brain began to work. Cheese…cheese. Grilled cheese sandwich and a hotdog? Sounds good. But why keep them separated? I had made up my mind, the grilled cheese dog was about to be born.
I lay the dog into my already hot pan, searing the outside with a satisfying sizzle. Next to it I lay a buttered piece of white bread, covered ever so gently with a slice of yellow cheddar. The casing of the sausage getting a new browned cover while the slice of cheese melts, dripping down the sides of the bread, it was a true thing of beauty. Like the miracle of life, both incredible and disgusting at the same time.
Moving around the kitchen with all the agility and grace that can be had at 2 am, I assembled the creation. Dog to sandwich half, sandwich half to plate. Folding the toasted bread around the meat as the cheddar oozed out, strangely satisfying. That first bite, the mix of flavors, the textures, the warmth, the sustenance I had been craving since half way through “Fools Gold,” the experience was mind bending. Life altering.
One might feel guilt after eating something so rich and fatty, I felt bliss. The thrill of discovery trumped the voice in the back of my head and I truly believe I left the kitchen that night a champion.