Sunday, August 5, 2018

Banjo Picker Sandwich

This is a recipe I've made about once a year for the past 5 years, basically since it was originally published on Southern Plate.  It has become our traditional "dinner after visiting the fair" meal.  Fair food is so expensive, unhealthy, and I'm always worried about getting food poisoning, but it's also fun and tasty.  This is our answer!  We always get Dippin' Dots or a soft pretzel or something at the fair, but then come home and I make this for dinner.  It is also not exactly healthy what with the hot dogs and white bread, but undoubtedly a nutritional upgrade from fair food.  It's also very, very good!  The ingredient combination is a little odd, but a real winner.
As I mentioned, this recipe is originally from Southern Plate. I never would have thought of it on my own and am glad I came upon it years ago.  Of course, I changed it a bit.  Basically, I tweaked it (mostly the method rather than the ingredients) every year for a few years before settling on the perfect approach that's  minimally messy and involves the least number of hot dogs rolling off. 
For the bread, you need to choose carefully.  You want a nice, wide loaf that is not too tall (unless you can unhinge your jaw), and it's good if it's crusty rather than like white bread.  You also don't want ciabatta, though.  Just check out your options and pick whatever seems like it will work best, no big deal.
Banjo Picker Sandwich
1 loaf french or italian bread (not a baguette), cut in half horizontally
1 Tbsp butter
6 hot dogs of your choice, cut in half lengthwise (they are less roly poly this way)
mustard of your choice (I use spicy)
5 slices of your favorite cheese (I like sharp cheddar)
sauerkraut to taste, drained (put a pile on a couple layer of paper towels, wrap it up tight, and squeeze it dry over the sink)
sliced peperoncinis to taste
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and brown hot dogs.  
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Place the two halves of bread on the baking sheet.  Spread mustard over the bottom half and mayo over the top.  Arrange hot dogs on bottom half of bread so that they run perpendicular to the length of the bread.  Spread drained sauerkraut over the top half of bread and sprinkle with peperoncinis.  Lay 3 slices of cheese over the hot dogs and 2 over the peperoncinis.  
Bake the sandwich halves until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasty, about 15 minutes.  Flip the top half onto the bottom, let sit for a few minutes, then cut into serving pieces.
Yield: 4 large servings, or you can cut them smaller.  Leftovers reheat well wrapped in foil and baked until hot.

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