Tonight amid duck confit and lamb kebabs preparations, I needed fuss-less, folky fare to balance my food equilibrium. Ta’da: P’Dogs!

P’Dogs (short for Panini dogs) are a close cousin of the Waffle Dog, specialty of a short-lived Chattanooga hot dog shop. In a way, P’Dogs are health food. Deep-fried hot dogs in cheesy cornbread batter too much for your diet? Then try these hot dogs in cheesy cornbread batter that are toasted—not deep fried—to chewy perfection on a hot Panini press. Not enough to soothe your health-conscious soul? Then dip them in veggie-rich, spicy remoulade, and, hot damn, you’re golden.


1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal (not self-rising)
1 ½ tsp. salt (less if you’re using a salty seasoning)
1 ½ tsp. cajun seasoning (preferably Alchemy Bayou Ya-Ya)
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
8 all-beef hot dogs with natural casings (or veggie dogs, of course)
½ cup cornstarch
Wax paper
16 wooden skewers

· Preheat your Panini press; I set mine to medium-high to achieve a crunchy, chewy exterior.
Mix the first six ingredients (dry ingredients) thoroughly.
· Next, toss cheese in with the dry ingredients and, following, add buttermilk. Stir until just combined.
· Insert the skewers into the hot dogs (2 per dog, side by side), pushing them to within one inch of the tip.
· On a large piece of waxed
paper, spread the cornstarch and roll each skewered-dog in the cornstarch until thoroughly cover; tap off excess.
· Empty the batter onto another sheet of waxed paper and thoroughly cover each dog in its entirety.
· When press is fully preheated, introduce the dogs and cook for seven to eight minutes apiece.
· Yep, a bit of batter will puddle at the bottom, all toothsome and crusty and golden. Enjoy it dipped in rich, mustardy remoulade.

· Nota Bene: We order our hot dogs from Chicopee Provisions.


½ cup onion (one medium yellow), chopped
½ cup green onions, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
¼ cup, 2 T spicy mustard
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 T horseradish
2 T ketchup
2 T roasted red pepper
1 T sirachi or hot sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup olive, vegetable, or canola oil

· Add all ingredients except oil to food processor and process until moderately homogenized and smooth but with lovely specks of cilantro-green and pepper-red throughout.
· Add oil slowly—a thin, even drizzle—as if making mayonnaise.
· Serve immediately or store, refrigerated, in tightly-sealed container.

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