Deborah Balint (@rainydaybites on Instagram) shows you her take on an Arizona street food favorite using Tillamook cheeses.
WOODINVILLE, WA – May 24, 2019 – Warm weather means hot dog season is officially here! Are you ready for something a bit different (and way better) than a traditional hot dog? Sonoran style bacon-wrapped cheesy hot dogs are the best blend of American and Mexican street food. Sonoran hot dogs are believed to have originated in Hermosillo, Mexico, and are sold on hot dog carts in the Tucson and Phoenix area. I first heard about Sonoran hot dogs while attending the University of Arizona in Tucson. Everyone was talking about Sonoran hot dogs, which were being sold from tiny street carts, in south Tucson. They quickly attained almost cult status with people driving to the other side of town just to try one. Now they are so popular, hundreds of places sell them all over town. You don’t have to drive anywhere to try these, as I’m sharing my recipe with you, so you can make these delicious Southwestern hot dogs at home!
I still really miss and crave the flavors of the Southwest that inspired this twist on a traditional Sonoran hot dog. The traditional Sonoran hot dog takes an American hot dog, wraps it in bacon, and serves it nestled in a soft bolillo roll, topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard, and served with a grilled yellow pepper on the side. My version takes those basics and steps it up to a whole other level by stuffing the inside of the hot dogs with Tillamook Farm Style Thick Cut Sharp Cheddar and Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Pepper Jack Sliced Cheeses. The hot dogs and cheese take on the smoky flavor of the bacon, and bits of the cheese crisp up on the bacon, giving you a gorgeous bit of crunch. I used two different cheeses, so there is something for everyone! Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sharp Cheddar Sliced Cheese is aged for over 9 months, which gives it a distinct bold sharp cheddar flavor.
Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Pepper Jack Sliced Cheese pairs creamy mellow Monterey Jack cheese with a bit of kick from bits of jalapeno peppers specked throughout the slices.
You can alternate cheeses on the dogs or use a mix of both in each one! My Sonoran style bacon wrapped hot dog is smoky, tangy, extra cheesy and absolutely addicting. These will be a hit your next gathering.
So let’s get started! You are going to love how easy these are to make. They are simple enough for a weeknight meal and great for entertaining with friends, too. Here are some quick suggestions on some of the ingredients. Get the best all beef hot dogs you can buy for optimum flavor. I use regular hot dog buns because bolillo rolls can be difficult to find, and the ones I can find in my area are rather large, so you end up with a lot of bread. Try finding buns that aren’t already split on the sides because you want it to be like a boat to hold and cradle all the toppings. I used crema, which is a mix of sour cream, lime juice, and salt, as it adds a lovely bit of tangy creaminess to it. The yellow grilled pepper on the side is a must for a bit of heat and smokiness! If you can’t find yellow peppers, then jalapeños work great too for a spicy kick! In the end, you want a soft bun, bacon-wrapped Tillamook cheese-filled hot dog, pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and condiments for that true Sonoran style.
Set these up with a condiment station and let your guests top them with their favorite Mexican toppings. These are meant to be loaded up so, don’t be shy with your toppings! You’ll want pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, mustard, and crema for the Sonoran hot dog. Have fun and be super creative too with additional toppings like chorizo, salsa, avocado, caramelized/pickled onions, grilled pineapple, pickled jalapenos, guacamole, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup, chipotle aioli, grilled red peppers, refried beans, pico de gallo, elote (Mexican grilled corn). The possibilities for toppings are endless!
Equipment note: I used a flat cast iron griddle to cook these indoors because a tiny bit of cheese will escape, and the cheese is so good that I don’t want to lose any of it between the grill grates. This way, on the flat top, the cheese stays in place and crisps up on the bacon. You can absolutely grill these on a regular grill, too.
Make ahead tip: Hot dogs can be cut, filled with cheese, and wrapped in bacon the night before. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to cook.
About Deborah Balint (@rainydaybites)
Deborah Balint is a recipe developer, food photographer, food stylist, lawyer, avid cookbook collector, and community builder. Deborah is passionate about cooking, exploring new cuisines, and creating recipes. She started an online cookbook club a few years ago and to date over 7800 recipes have been made by her cookbook club members. Deborah grew up in Arizona and relocated to the Pacific Northwest after graduating from law school in 1991. She is married, a caregiver to her mom, and enjoys traveling with her family and dogs. Be sure to visit her Instagram page to see more recipes she has created with Tillamook products.