TJ-style bacon wrapped hot dogs

TJ-style bacon wrapped hot dogs

Growing up in San Diego, Tijuana is only about 30 minutes away. Being the cool kids we thought we were at 18, we would sometimes cross the border in search of partying and the ability to drink before we were 21 (sorry mom, if you're reading this). However, no matter what club we were leaving in the wee hours of the morning, there would always be a gentleman outside serving up some of the tastiest hot dogs I have ever had. Bacon wrapped hot dogs smothered in mayo (just, trust me), pico de gallo, avocado and jalapeño. This culinary masterpiece has lovingly been dubbed a 'TJ-dog'. Craft hot dog vendors have recently become de rigueur in San Diego in particular, with trendy spots popping up all over the place. There is even a spot where hot dogs are sold out of a Chevy Impala low-rider converted into a small food shop. To say that they are beloved on the west coast (by those in the know, of course) is an understatement. And if I'm going to be eating a hot dog, there is no other way I would rather eat them. My version is a little more lit, however, with spicy chipotle mayo and grilled onions in addition to all of the other toppings. 


They are exceedingly simple to make but packed full of flavor and are sure to impress at your next grill out. I like to make my own buns, for which there is a recipe at the end but feel free to buy your favorites. The true important part is the hot dog. If you are someone who is partial to Costco hot dogs, then you know what I'm talking about. For something like this I only buy Hebrew National jumbo dogs. Anything less is just a pencil facsimile of what this hot dog could be. 


I hope you have as much fun making and eating these bad boys as I did!


serves 6

6 jumbo Hebrew National hot dogs
12-18 slices of bacon (2-3 per hot dog)
pico de gallo (recipe below)
chipotle mayo (recipe below)
1/2 white onion, cut into slices
1 avocado, diced
cilantro leaves, for garnish
6 hot dog buns (recipe below) homemade, or store bought

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange bacon slices on a foil lined baking sheet with a rim. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until partially cooked. Cool and wrap around hot dogs, securing pieces of bacon with toothpicks. Depending on the bacon, it takes 2-3 pieces of bacon per hot dog. Heat a cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and add sliced onion. Cook until soft and charred. Set aside. 

Preheat a grill over medium heat. Grill hot dogs until bacon is crispy. Allow hot dogs to cool slightly before removing toothpicks. Place eat hot dog in a bun and top with pico de gallo, chipotle mayo, avocado, grilled onions and extra cilantro leaves. 

makes 2 cups

1 ripe beefsteak tomato, finely diced
3 tablespoons white onion, very finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, minced
juice of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be kept for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. 

makes 1 cup

1 small can chipotle chilies in adobo
1 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Dump the contents of the chipotle chilies into a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth. Mix two tablespoons of chipotle puree with mayo, lime, sriracha and sesame oil until smooth. Transfer rest of chipotle purée to an airtight container (this can be kept in the fridge for months). Keep chipotle mayo in the fridge until ready to use. 

makes 10-12 buns

450g water, between 80-90 degrees
20g sugar
12g yeast
50g milk powder
2 eggs
700g bread flour
113g butter, diced, cold
20g salt

1 egg, for egg wash

Mix together water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit 5-10 minutes until foamy. Add milk powder and eggs and mix on low. In a separate bowl mix together flour and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture while mixing on medium-low. Add cubes of butter in a couple at a time until all are added and mix for 15 minutes on medium speed until dough is smooth. The dough will be sticky, feel free to add a little dusting of flour to get it out of the mixing bowl. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm area. Punch dough down and place in the fridge for 1 hour. You can also keep your dough in the fridge overnight. 

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Portion dough into 120g pieces. Shape into a hot dog shape and place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. I like to take my pieces and press them into a rectangle shape, roughly 4"x3" and then roll them up to achieve the hot dog shape and pinch the seams together afterwards. I also kind of roll the dough between my hands and the counter, as if I were rolling a log out of play dough to help the seams disappear. Place them about 2 inches or so apart on the baking sheet. Loosely cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 more hour. Mix whisk egg until smooth and brush the tops of the buns. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F. Cool on a baking rack. Slice part of the way through and enjoy!



classic raspberry custard tart

classic raspberry custard tart

beer braised carnitas tacos

beer braised carnitas tacos