Cooking my way to happiness with Rachael Ray

Michigan Dogs with Cheese Sauce and Feel Good Potato Skins

It’s just another snow day here in the midwest.  Technically we are snowed in. I am really going to appreciate spring this year!

Tonight’s dinner is perfect for single digit temps.  I feel like I’m in Michigan so Michigan Dogs with Cheese Sauce is the perfect meal.  The kids were even excited about me cooking this recipe, however what kid wouldn’t be excited about a really good hot dog.  This prompts a discussion of how many hot dog varieties there are in this world.  While I was in Chicago for my birthday (seeing a taping of the Oprah show, wow) I did try the infamous Chicago Dog at the Navy Pier.  Sad to report it was not one of my favorites, maybe it was just an off day. Sonic coneys are Tyler teenager’s fav, he is less cultured since he is only 13, if you can be cultured about your hot dogs.

I have most of the ingredients for this recipe on hand, I just needed really big hot dogs and buns.  This would be a really great Monday night football meal, also perfect for the Superbowl.  I’m never really into watching the Superbowl (since it usually isn’t a close game) but I am into Superbowl food, of course.

After boiling the hot dogs you slice them down the middle, but not all the way thru, and open them up like a book.  I have learned the term for that is “to butterfly” your hot dogs.  Rachael then grills both sides.  I can’t get to the grill since there is 2 feet of snow all around it.  I improvise, after all that is what life is…..a series of improvises.  I break out the George Foreman grill which grills both sides at once, even better!

The dogs are then stuffed with a meat sauce, yes “meat on meat” as Kayt would say.  The sauce is made with ground beef, tomato paste (out of the tube- greatest invention ever in the paste world), smoked paprika, coriander and beef stock.  I think it would be even better with an onion in it.

On top of the meat sauce there is this divine cheese sauce.  This is the best thing  my cooking coach (Rachael Ray) has taught me how to do……make a great cheese sauce.  Start by melting some butter.  Whisk in some flour then milk, let it thicken and add whatever kind of cheese you want.  With this recipe you add cheddar and mustard.  I do have to say the mustard was a pleasant surprise.  I mean how can you have a good hot dog without mustard?

I served  the Michigan Dogs with feel good potato skins.  I love the feel good potato skins, yes it is just true love!  You make them with sweet potatoes so they are even good for you.  Bake up the sweet potatoes, making sure to coat them with a little EVOO and sea salt.  Let them cool, cut them in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl.  Then season the potatoes with low-fat buttermilk, sweet paprika ( I used smoked paprika), and BACON!  We all know that everything is just better with bacon!  Mash it all together and refill the skins.  Top with extra sharp cheddar and pop them in the oven to melt the cheese.  Serve them with a bunch of scallions on top.  I think these could be a meal just by themselves, a must save recipe for the Superbowl.

The whole family loved the Michigan Dogs, of course.  Two out of 3 children like the potato skins.  All in all dinner was once again a success, thanks to Rachael Ray!


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  1. * Cindie Luchtefeld says:

    Hey Tracy!
    Love reading your blog, especially since I know all the cast of characters in it! Congrats on the call from the original “Ray”! I am so excited to hear when (NOT if
    !) your segment will be on the show. I am sure you will keep us posted.
    Hey, I saw your posting on this particular recipe-the Michigan dogs-and since my boys (husband included) LOVE hot dogs, I thought I would give it a try. I made the mistake of not watching show first as I got a regular package of hot dogs and they were not the large, flavorful ones-something I could tell when I ate them. I thought there were way too many pans used in this recipe but forged ahead anyway. Bottom line, Jeff loved them, can’t wait to eat them as leftovers tomorrow and the boys were so so on them. I also think grilled (I used a saucepan as I can’t even SEE our grill outside right now!) with onions, like you suggested would be better.
    Take care and congrats again on your culinary successes! You are an inspiration, Tracy!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago

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