When I was a child and not a fan of certain fast food restaurants, we would stop at one in particular and I'd refuse to eat, always asking to visit the competition where, not only did they serve hamburgers, but hot dogs as well. The chili dog was always my favorite. Topped with some grated Cheddar and a sprinkle of onions, you couldn't get better than that. Years later, I finally convinced Kevin to try a chili dog, too!
The chili recipe is the easiest you can get, and if you are feeling naughty (or just don't want to spend extra for ground turkey), use ground beef instead. There is no need for a long slow simmer, just mix that baby up and go with it. Ladle it on hot dogs, tuck away in the freezer for another day, or eat for dinner right away.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey (or extra lean ground beef)
1 small onion, diced
1/2 large sweet red or green pepper, diced
3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
couple of dashes of hot sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 (14 oz) cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (28 oz) can tomato sauce (recommended: Hunts)
Saute the meat in the bottom of a large, heavy, pot over medium heat until mostly cooked and no longer pink. Push the meat aside in the pot and add the onion and green pepper, continuing to saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add chili powder and cumin, continuing to stir and cook for another minute. Stir in the red wine vinegar and then the brown sugar.
Pour in both cans of tomato sauce and the kidney beans, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook over medium heat until the mixture simmers, then turn heat down to about medium low and simmer for another 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
For a chili dog, toast hot dog buns and slip in the cooked, roasted weiner. Ladle warm chili over top. Sprinkle on Cheddar cheese and top with green onions!
Serves 4 for dinner, more if you are making chili dogs.