Friday, May 11, 2012

Truly American Hot Dog Goulash

The necessary ingredients
I wanted to make dinner one night in England.
Since my daughter-in-law Helen was working overtime to feed us breakfast, lunch, picnics and dinner, it seemed only fair to try and give her a night off.
My first choice was a Sticky Chicken dish one of my stepdaughters introduced at a family gathering. It required only three main ingredients in addition to the rice and chicken so it seemed a good choice.
I checked in with my son: "Have you any Catalina dressing in England?"
"How about apricot marmalade?"
"Maybe, if it's called jam."
"What about Lipton's Dry Onion Soup Mix?"
An All-American supper
At this point, Derek broke out laughing. "Mom, they've never heard of that over here."
I changed plan.
Derek wanted me to make Hot Dog Goulash, a fairly pedestrian dish but a favorite of his when he was a child.
How hard could that be?
The finished dish
I only needed hot dogs, tomato sauce and Krinkley noodles and maybe a little parsley.
I proceeded to look for these things at the local supermart starting with hot dogs. I didn't really think I could find Oscar Mayer all beef hot dogs and Hunt's tomato sauce but I figure I could come close.
However, when Helen headed away from the meat section to the canned goods, I wavered.
"Here!" she exclaimed in triumph, plucking a tall can from the shelf.
I was looking at a can of what appeared to be long, thin Vienna sausages packed in water.
Gulp. "OK," I said, "You're sure you don't have them in little plastic packages of 10 to a package?"
No, they didn't.
Then we started looking for tomato sauce.
They had a tomato puree, tomato soup, tomato pastes, smashed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomatoes with chilies, everything but tomato sauce.
We settled for a box of tomato puree that Helen promised would be almost just like tomato sauce.
We found noodles that were kinda wavy as opposed to Krinkley noodles.
We headed home and I began to cook.
I chopped up the hot dogs, fried them in a little vegetable oil. I boiled the noodles and added them to the hot dogs, poured on some of the puree and added a little water.
It turned out fine.
Jack, as most little kids to, picked out the hot dogs first until his mother insisted he eat some noodles too.
So it was a successful venture but when I got home to America, one of the first meals I made was good old-fashioned Hot Dog Goulash with American ingredients.
It was delicious. Who knew it was a delicacy?

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