The snap of its fried exterior, the lashings of buttery, spicy sauce and bracing crunch of celery rattled around in my head for two months. The blue cheese tang, the get-your-attention heat contrasted with the cool, crisp celery topping.
These few extras change a hot dog from a working mom's y'all-nuke-yourself-dinner meal to a canvas for expressing your fondest culinary wishes.
Eventually these things drive me to the kitchen to experiment. With a nod to Dog of Nashville for inventing it, here's how it went down. Simple and memorable.
Check out my recipe/homage after the jump, and try it for yourself. The Dog of Nashville's at 2127 Belcourt Ave. in Hillsboro Village (292-2204).
Copycat Buffalo Dogs
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Crystal or Frank's hot sauce
Pinch of garlic powder or garlic salt
4 best-quality hot dogs
Oil for deep frying
4 hot dog buns
4 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup chopped celery
Heat the butter with the hot sauce and garlic until the butter melts, then cook about 3 minutes until the mixture thickens a little.
Deep-fry or shallow-fry the hot dogs for a minute or two until blisters appear on the outsides. Drain on paper towels.
Warm the buns. Pile the hot dogs into the buns. Drizzle generously with the hot sauce mixture. Sprinkle with blue cheese and top with celery.