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The crazy hot dog recipes you need to try: Pulled pork, fried jalapeno, more

If you want to kick your cookout up a notch, look no further: Allan Penn, the author of the new book "Wieners Gone Wild!", shows TODAY how to make uniquely delicious hot dogs using some pretty creative ingredients. Mac and cheese barbecue pork dogs, anybody?  Identity Crisis DogFor the hot dogs:2 lbs. ground beef (preferably 85% lean)3 large eggs1 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. garlic powderFreshly ground bl

If you want to kick your cookout up a notch, look no further: Allan Penn, the author of the new book "Wieners Gone Wild!", shows TODAY how to make uniquely delicious hot dogs using some pretty creative ingredients. Mac and cheese barbecue pork dogs, anybody?  

Identity Crisis Dog

For the hot dogs:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef (preferably 85% lean)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste) 
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 sub rolls
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Divide the ground beef mixture into 8 even portions.

Take 1 portion of the beef mixture and mold it evenly around 1 hot dog until the hot dog is completely covered. Repeat with the other beef portions and hot dogs. 

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef-wrapped hot dogs, being careful not to crowd the pan. Sear the dogs all over, then lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pan to cook the meat all the way through.

Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of water to the pan if it seems dry. Cook the dogs for about 8 to 10 minutes.

For the relish:

  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, sliced 1/2-in. thick
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, seeded
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (plus more as needed)
  • Black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tbsp. dill pickle juice
  • 2 scallions, chopped and divided (keep green pieces for garnish) 

Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Brush tomatoes and pepper with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the vegetables, turning occasionally, until they're charred in spots (about 10 minutes). Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, tomato paste, oregano, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, celery salt, pickle juice and the white and light green parts of the scallions. 

Chop grilled tomatoes and peppers and add to the bowl with the dressing. Set aside relish until ready to use. 

To assemble: 

Heat another skillet over medium-high heat. Butter the insides of the sub rolls and toast them.

When the hot dogs are cooked, place in the roll and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Top with relish and garnish with reserved scallion pieces. 

Related video: Make a grown-up bacon-wrapped hot dog that will blow your mind

Firecracker Dog

  • 2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 8 New England-style hot dog buns
  • 1/2 cup coarse ground mustard 
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce

Heat the oil in a large, deep pot to 375 degrees. (You'll need a frying thermometer for this; you can buy one at any grocery store). 

Dip the jalapeño slices into the flour. Fry the jalapeños until they are lightly browned and crisp (1 to 2 minutes), then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain while you prepare the dogs.

Combine the cayenne, paprika, chili powder and 1 tsp. of garlic powder in a small bowl. Rub the hot dogs with the spice mixture.

Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the hot dogs until they are browned and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Wipe out the skillet and return it to the stove. 

Melt the remaining 4 tbsp. of butter with the remaining 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder and Tabasco in a small saucepan, or in a small bowl in the microwave. Brush the melted butter mixture on the sides of the hot dog buns, and toast them in the skillet over medium heat.

Mix the mustard and Sriracha together in a small bowl. Place the hot dogs in the buns and drizzle them with the mustard mixture. Top them with the fried jalapeño slices. 

Porked Dog

  • 8 grilled hot dogs
  • 8 buttered, toasted hot dog buns
  • 2 cups barbecued pulled pork
  • 2 cups macaroni and cheese
  • Barbecue sauce

Place the hot dog in each bun. Top with hot pulled pork and macaroni and cheese. Serve with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

Quesadilla Dog

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups green chile peppers (like poblano), sliced and with seeds 
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 8 hot dogs 
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Prepared pico de gallo or fresh salsa, for serving 

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and onions, sauteing until they're soft and start to brown (about 10 minutes). Put in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. 

Divide the onion-pepper mixture among 8 tortillas. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of Monterey Jack cheese and 2 tbsp. of cheddar cheese evenly over each of the 8 tortillas. Top each with another tortilla to make a sandwich. 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add each quesadilla and cook, turning once, until the cheese is melted. Place the cooked quesadillas on a baking sheet and put them in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining quesadillas. 

Cook the hot dogs according to your preferred method. Wrap a quesadilla around each hot dog. Serve with sour cream and pico de gallo or salsa.