Hi guys. Today, I am going to do something different. I’m not cooking for you all today….or even for myself. Today, I am cooking in honor of a friend that I lost yesterday. Yesterday morning, one of my best girlfriend’s mom lost her two year battle with cancer. Her name was Debbie. Debbie fought long and fought hard, but in the end, stupid cancer won again. Debbie leaves behind my friend Becky, and a son named Alex. She also leaves behind a beautiful grand-baby named Nikolett. Of course she leaves behind a ton of extended family and friends, and we will all miss her very much.
I have been friends with Becky since I was 13, which means I had known Debbie for 22 years. Debbie was the cool, sassy mom who went out dancing at night on the weekends, wore leather skirts and put fake eyelashes on me for my senior banquet. She would talk to us about boys and dating, and she was just cool all around. I will miss her so much, and I know her family is devastated. Having lost a parent myself, I wanted to do something in honor of Debbie. I knew I had to cook the infamous “Hot Dog Stew” today. Cooking is very therapeutic for me, and I felt that I could celebrate Debbie by cooking one of her recipes.
When Becky got married, I put together a recipe box that included a ton of recipes from me and Becky’s family and friends. Debbie sent me a recipe for “Grandma Buba’s Hot Dog Stew”. When she sent it over, I immediately laughed. When Becky had talked about this recipe when we were young, which she did all the time, we would all joke that it was just chopped up hot dogs boiled in water and that was what made it soup. Debbie had a lot of strengths….but she wasn’t really know for her cooking;) I read the recipe, and of course, I was surprised to see that it wasn’t really just chopped up hot dogs. It actually didn’t sound half bad. This recipe is a mix of potatoes, hot dogs, onions and spices.
Now I have to be honest….I never made this recipe before today. While it didn’t sound half bad, it also didn’t sound like something I would make. But today, in honor of Debbie, I cooked hot dog stew. So this is for you Debbie……
This recipe calls for 6 potatoes, peeled and chopped. I didn’t want to peel potatoes, so I used Yukon Gold potatoes which have a thin skin that doesn’t require peeling. I also used a pack of all beef hot dogs, a chopped onion, ketchup, oil, garlic salt, black pepper and paprika. I will also use water too.
If you know me, you know that I have never cooked a recipe the way it tells me too….unless it is something baked, as that is a science. I always add my own spin. But I stuck to this recipe like it was written in stone. OK, no I didn’t. Grandma Buba apparently liked a lot of oil…..I did cut down on that. You’ll see.
To start, I chopped up my hot dogs. Easy enough, right?
Then, in a large pot…I added ½ cup oil. I sautéed my chopped hot dogs until they were slightly browned. This goes fast.
Debbie’s recipe called for ½ cup oil…I used less than ¼ a cup.
Once the hot dogs were brown, I pulled them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside.
Next, I added my chopped onion, garlic salt, pepper and paprika. I cooked the onions just until they were starting to soften.
I am going to warn you now…this recipe will need a lot of salt.
Once the onions were soft, I added my potatoes and cooked them until they were starting to brown. Once they get a good crust on at least one side, add just enough water to cover the potatoes. I used about 3 cups and that was enough for my size pot.
I boiled the potatoes, lid off, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes were soft. A lot of the water will evaporate during this process. This is what you want.
After about 23 minutes, I still felt like there was too much water in the pan, so I drained about ½ cup off. Then, I stirred in about ½ cup ketchup. I tasted it to check for seasoning. It needed more salt.
This will thicken as it sits.
There it is….The famous Hot Dog Stew! I added some shredded cheese just for kicks. This was surprisingly yummy, and your kids will love it. And I thought of Debbie with every bite. I thought of all the fun times I had at Becky’s house. I am glad that I got the chance to know Debbie and be a part of her life. The world lost a great lady.
This one’s for you, Deb. I’ll always miss you, but I know that you are resting now, and there is no more pain.
Grandma Buba’s Hot Dog Stew
-Recipe from Deborah Geller-
¼ cup oil
1 pack all beef hot dogs, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
6 potatoes, peeled and diced
½ cup ketchup
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add hot dogs and saute until browned. Remove hot dogs from pan and set aside.
Add onions, garlic salt, pepper and paprika to pot. Suate until onions are softened, about 4 minuites.
Add potatoes to pot and stir. Let potatoes saute until brown on at least one side. Add enough water to the pot to just cover potatoes. Simmer potatoes until soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain about ½ cup water off. Add back in hot dogs. Stir in ktechup and taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning if necasarry. Stew will thicken as it sits.