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Home on the Range: Breakfast Hot Dogs

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Breakfast hot dogs - JORDAN BARRY
  • Jordan Barry
  • Breakfast hot dogs
One of the most controversial questions of all time is, "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" In my house, we've been taking it a step further: Can a hot dog be breakfast?

The idea for this morning-meal innovation had been percolating for several months. My husband — a real ideas guy, especially when it comes to breakfast foods — first thought to put a breakfast sausage in a French-toasted bun back when we could go out for brunch and "Doomsday Preppers" was something we watched for fun (now it's way too real).

In the confines of quarantine, we considered all the important questions: Is a breakfast hot dog sweet, savory, or a little bit of both? What kind of bun would work best? Will it be structurally sound?



Have we totally lost our minds?

The breakfast hot dog was either going to be the best thing we've ever made, or a soggy, disappointing conclusion to our number one topic of brunch conversation.

Breakfast hot dogs, ready for a drizzle of maple syrup - JORDAN BARRY
  • Jordan Barry
  • Breakfast hot dogs, ready for a drizzle of maple syrup
I'm happy to report that it is definitely the former.

Here's the thing: The breakfast hot dog is very adaptable. We started with a baseline — for the sake of science — of Vermont Salumi maple breakfast sausage and a French-toasted Koffee Kup Bakery potato bun, topped with a hefty maple syrup drizzle. After the fact, we realized that all of the ingredients except the sugar, salt and cinnamon were local. Win!

The style of bun is important. To achieve maximum French-toasting, go for top-sliced, rather than a hot dog bun that's sliced on the side. As far as the French toast recipe, feel free to use whichever you like best. My go-to is adapted from the classic McCormick recipe.

From there, though, we're still scheming up topping ideas — caramelized onions, fruit compote, eggs, heck, even kale — and planning to test other types of sausage. I'm voting for a Does' Leap Farm chorizo for the next round.

As for my husband, he's thrilled that his experiment turned out well enough that I wanted to write about it. Over our brunch of breakfast hot dogs, homefries and Campari-orange juice cocktails, he said, "I'm glad I took the Snowden approach and filtered this through the press." A real whistleblower, indeed.

Breakfast Hot Dogs

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 4 sausage links (sub: maple pork sausage is a great baseline, but feel free to experiment with different flavors and types of meat or meat-alternatives. All that really matters is that the shape and size of the link will fit in a standard hot dog bun.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (sub: milk alternatives such as oat milk)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 top-sliced hot dog buns
  • maple syrup to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spreading out sausage links on top so that they don't touch. Cook sausage in the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on size), or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Grilling the sausages or cooking on the stovetop will also work, but baking them is hands-free and allows you to prep the buns while they're in the oven.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add milk, sugar, cinnamon and salt; whisk together.
  4. Dip each bun in the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides. Do not separate the slice on top of the bun — only the outside should be coated in the mixture, and keeping the bun closed prevents the mixture from sneaking inside.
  5. Cook buns on a lightly greased cast-iron skillet (or other nonstick griddle or pan) over medium heat until gently browned on both sides.
  6. Open the bun, place the sausage inside, and top with a drizzle (or several drizzles) of maple syrup. Brunch is served!
Have topping ideas for breakfast hot dogs, or suggestions for future breakfast innovations? Free to email them to jbarry@sevendaysvt.com.