pork loin, bacon, chili, cheese puffs, hot dog buns, vegetable oil, parsley, string cheese, mustard, ketchup
For this recipe, we challenged ourselves to come up with something that “tastes like sports” and that could be easily made in 30 minutes or less. Then the question was: Which classic game day dish needed a little updating? We quickly settled on the chili cheese dog. It’s fun, crowd-pleasing, and wicked quick.
The trick to this recipe is timing. Prepping the buns and the toppings isn’t too tough. It’s timing the hot pork coming off the grill, coring it, and then placing the cheese inside the pork so that the heat of the pork melts the cheese. If you struggle with it and the cheese doesn’t melt, don’t panic! You can always very quickly heat the pork and cheese in a microwave/skillet/grill. Then dress the chili cheese dog accordingly.
1 package pork loin
½-1 cup bacon, to taste, cooked until crispy and roughly chopped
1 can vegetarian chili
1 cup cheese puffs, crushed into small bits
4 hot dog buns
Vegetable oil, as needed
½ cup flat leaf parsley, finely minced
8 sticks cheddar string cheese (or mozzarella, if you prefer)
Ketchup, for serving
Mustard, for serving
Preheat your grill to medium/medium-high heat.
Separate the bacon from the pork loin filet and place it into a small sauté pan. Set aside. Slice the pork loin filet into ½–1-inch pieces.
Mix 1 tablespoon of the crushed cheese puffs into a few tablespoons of the vegetable oil and mix well. (Yes, your oil will turn orange.) Brush the cheese puff-infused oil onto the insides of your hot dog buns and place the buns oil-side down on the grill. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the insides of the buns are toasted and are golden brown.
Place your sauté pan full of bacon onto the grill. Allow the heat of the grill to fully cook the bacon. Once it’s fully cooked, add in the chili and mix well. Let it sit and warm while you place your pork loin filet slices on the grill. Cook evenly on both sides.
Remove the pork from the grill. Leave your chili on but turn the grill heat down to low/medium-low.
Quickly core each pork slice by cutting out a circle from the middle of each piece. Set aside the middle bits. Then, slide one to two sticks of string cheese through the insides of two to three slices of pork. (The pork should ring around the cheese sticks and melt the cheese. As aforementioned, if the cheese doesn’t melt, you can always microwave the pork and cheese for 20–30 seconds or you can place it in a skillet—covered—back on the grill to melt it).
Finely chop the middle pieces of pork and stir into your chili.
To serve, spread a small amount of the chili inside the hot dog bun, top with the pork and cheese, then top with more chili, mustard, ketchup, a sprinkling of the parsley, and a sprinkling of the cheese puff bits. Enjoy!