Turn those delicious chili cheese dogs into a casserole!
CHILI CHEESE DOG CASSEROLE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion (finely diced)
1 red or green bell pepper (finely diced)
1 jalapeno (seeded and minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon coriander
1 bottle beer (such as an IPA, 12 ounces)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 large eggs
8 hot dog buns (cut in to 1-inch pieces and lightly toasted, about 8 cups)
8 hot dogs (sliced on a slight bias, ½-inch thick, about 2 cups)
canola oil (for frying)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Grease a casserole dish with olive oil.
For the Chili: place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and beef, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until well browned, about 8 minutes. Add onion, peppers, jalapeno and garlic, season with salt, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add paprika, chili powder, cayenne and coriander, stir to combine and toast for 30 seconds. Add beer and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
For the Cheddar Custard: place a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the Dijon mustard and hot sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, while whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the cheddar, stirring until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the eggs, whisking vigorously to combine. Set aside.
Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a few inches of oil. Place over medium heat and preheat to 360ºF.
Working in batches, carefully drop a handful of hot dogs at a time. Fry until golden and crisp, about 1 minute. Remove to a paper towel-lined tray and repeat with the remaining hot dogs.
To Assemble: to a large mixing bowl, add the toasted buns and chili, and gently mix to combine.
Add half of the bun-chili mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Add the fried hot dogs in an even layer and top with remaining bun-chili mixture in an even layer. Pour the cheese custard over the top, moving the bread around slightly to allow it to seep in.
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until set and souffléd slightly and light golden brown on top. Remove and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
– Instead of hot dog buns, substitute with 1-day-old bread.
– Use store-bought chili for a short cut!