Kids like hot dogs. Parents like them too, for the simplicity — just heat ‘n’ eat, basically. And retro recipes really love hot dogs.
But sometimes it feels like frankfurters aren’t terribly fancy. I’m sure you’ve all said to yourselves at some point, “man, I wish this frank had some swank.”
It’s worth noting that this World War II advertisement is from an era of rationing, so the “point-thrifty frankfurter” means that a wiener would cost you less rationing points than something that was recognizable as a cut of actual meat.
Also, Crisco’s marketing department highlighted the “digestibility” of Crisco frequently in advertising for decades. It’s actually a complete myth, of course, but just think about the visceral reaction that most people have to the word “lard” — fattening! bad for you! disgusting! ew! — and you’ll realize just how well Crisco did at convincing people that their vegetable shortening was better in innumerable ways. (Take a listen to this 2012 Planet Money podcast for a more detailed history.)
Anyway, we’ve got some mashed potatoes and some frankfurters, and we’re going to make some swank.
FRANKS IN POTATO BLANKETS
Wrap thin frankfurters in a coating of leftover mashed potatoes. Roll in flour. Melt enough Crisco in hot skillet to cover bottom of pan generously. Fry coated frankfurters till golden brown. It’s a joy to fry with Crisco. There’s no heavy smoke or smell … no off-taste to the food. No need to worry about digestions, either. For foods fried crisp and brown in all-vegetable Crisco are so digestible even children may eat ’em!
I have yet to meet a kid that didn’t eat any fried food that was offered, regardless of what it was fried in. Starting to see why “digestible” is so silly?
Potatoes, shortening, hot dogs. Feeling the swank yet?
Mashed potatoes are not easy to wrap around a hot dog; they like to squish, not stay in tube shape.
The cylindrical shape does make it very easy to dredge in flour, though. Just roll!
And they’re fairly small, so more than one can be cooked at a time even in a medium-sized frying pan.
It doesn’t take long for the flour coating to slightly brown; since everything here is already cooked, actually, my only goal at this stage was to get the hot dogs warm.
This ended up being somewhat like a hot dog wrapped in a french fry. The potato didn’t manage to get quite as solid as I would have liked (which would make it more of a “bun” than a goopy coating), but it more or less held together and was a little crisp on the outside.
A splash of ketchup makes this taste even more like fries. The kids weren’t terribly impressed with the potato shell, though; with or without ketchup, they far preferred the hot dog interior to the potato blanket. And it was a heck of a lot harder to make this than, say, serve franks next to the leftover mashed potatoes. But assuming you’re willing to put in the effort, I think this is a tasty dish. More swank than I expected!
1943 advertisement comes to you from the Kittysneezes Tumblr