Fare play: hot dog delight
June 30th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Ashley Strickland is an associate producer at CNN.com. In her previous job as a traveling sports photographer, she picked up plenty of souvenir recipes that she'll be sharing over the next few months in her Fare Play column.

The first time I photographed University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt, he was on the field of Sanford Stadium. But instead of capturing him in a huddle amongst his team, my shot showed Coach Richt taking a big, juicy bite out of a watermelon wedge.

It was soon after beginning a photography internship with the UGA Athletic Association. The early Saturday morning scrimmage ended the football team’s sweltering two-a-day practices of summer, just in time for fall classes to start on Monday. They celebrated by indulging in an annual tradition, the watermelon cutting.

Dozens of UGA football players drenched in sweat were chomping on giant wedges of orange and pink watermelon.  Off to the side, Coach Richt was eating his piece as well.

In the state of Georgia, UGA football is a way of life. So when it came to working for the Athletic Association, I covered my share of football and press conferences about football.

I called them “Tuesdays with Coach Richt.” Every week, he would sit at the front of a small room, break down the upcoming game’s opponents and then answer questions from the media.  It was my job to sit right in front of him and shoot “action photos”: pointing, gesturing or laughing/smiling.

Every move he made, my trigger finger would punch the shutter and a round of click-click-clicks would go off, rapid-fire.  Between the sound effects and my waiting for him to “do something,” I know it had to drive the poor man crazy but he never complained or failed to deliver.

Before and during the games, I looked for candid moments, a quick glimpse of his personality that the fans want to see. As the players came out on the field for warm-ups, he walked amongst them with the other coaches, pausing to murmur guidance over the top of their helmets as they stretched. I loved those quiet pauses, a few reflective frames before the tackling chaos of football consumed the field.

Each game, the stadium would come alive with over 92,000 fans. At times, it was impossible to hear yourself think. Photographers ran up and down the sidelines and through the end zones hunting a touchdown or interception photo. You had to fight for your spot or miss the winning shot.

Linebackers and running backs made plays and hit the ground just feet away from us, making the ground shake. A few touchdowns almost landed in my lap. But I wouldn’t trade those long, scorcher days on the field for anything. It was a beautiful chaos, and in the middle of the Saturday storm, Coach Richt always remained calm, orchestrating the moves of his team.

On the day of my graduation, my boss came up to me with a photo request from Coach Richt.  He wanted to have a picture taken with me. Of course in the photo, we’re pointing in two different directions.

I would have to say the best part about getting to know him was discovering that underneath his coaching cap, Mark Richt is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

How fitting that the recipe he’s known for involves hot dogs (what with him being the top “Dawg” around UGA and all).  When you slap all of this together, the complex flavors layer on top of each other in a lip-smacking combination.

“It’s the type of recipe a 14-year-old kid would dream up,” Richt said. “It was a matter of survival. At one time, growing up, it was just me and my dad in the house and sometimes you just had to figure out a way to get something to eat. I used my imagination, invented it and I’ve been eating it ever since.”

(Recipe provided courtesy Mark Richt)

Hot Dog Delight

(serving for one person)

3 hot dogs

2 slices of bread

3 slices of American cheese

A can of baked beans


Boil the hot dogs (or grill, depends on your method).

Toast the slices of bread on a cookie sheet under the broiler until golden. It won’t taste the same if you just pop them in the toaster.

Lay the hot dogs diagonally across the two side-by-side pieces of bread, cover with American cheese slices until you can’t see the hot dogs and then stick back under the broiler to melt the cheese.

Meanwhile, heat up your favorite baked beans.

Once the cheese is melted, slide the hot dog combo onto a plate and cover with baked beans to your heart’s content.

Lastly, squirt some ketchup on top.

Once you’ve got the whole thing assembled, Richt says, “Grab a sturdy fork and go at it.”

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Filed under: Dishes • Fare Play • Hot dogs • Make • Recipes • Southern

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. cannibal corpse

    @ chris..I wish I could see you in person so I could Knock what few teeth you probably have down your throat!!! Pos.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  2. Ryan in Michigan

    This is very similar to something I've been doing for years. I make a normal hot dog, but put on Bush's Baked Beans, American cheese, ketchup, and honey mustard. It's very sweet and delicious. Sometimes, if the beans aren't available, I substitute them and the ketchup with a little sweet barbeque sauce, like Kraft Honey Barbeque or Sweet Baby Rae's.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  3. TI

    tofurkey dogs <3

    July 1, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  4. Pragmaclast

    As for myself? I'd rather have a hot dog Chicago-style, please.

    June 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  5. M3NTA7

    That looks awesome man! I like other suggestions of the commentors as well, for the various recipes.

    June 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  6. Congressman Weiner

    This is how we make chili dogs. But we never ever boil the dogs. Microwaving or browning in a skillet is better than boiling if you can't grill them.

    June 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Matt

      Your weiner got grilled on the internet.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  7. ohboy

    food is food. everyones comfort food is different. An a hot dog is a hot dog i bet people couldnt tast the differnece... So much back and forth geez... hello everyones taste is different no matter what.

    June 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • YUP!

      It really does get annoying when all of these people jump in and declare that their particular recipe is the "right" way to make something. It's one thing to say "I really like..." and quite another to say "There's only one way to make..."
      If there was "only one way" to make things, every restaurant would be the same, and most of them would be out of business because the only reason not to make it yourself would be laziness.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  8. les

    tube steak

    June 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • AleeD@les

      Mmmm. ~_~

      Oh ..... you meant a hot dog. Never mind.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  9. Chris

    That sounds and looks disgusting. It's like redneck vomit. Why must the South take everything and smother it with 650 calories of crap? Just try a hot dog with sauerkraut and a little spicy mustard. And a GOOD hot dog, too, no "all meat" hot dogs. Try a natural casing Deutschmacher.

    June 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Oscar

      What about it is disgusting? Everything about it is amazing! It's not like baked beans and hot dogs never touch on anyones plate. And cheese makes everything better. Maybe the portions are a bit large, but it was also the recipe of a football coach, and football players tend to burn a lot of calories.

      Why are you such a hater?

      June 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Pragmaclast

      I'm guessing it probably had something to do with an absentee mother and a hungry teenager. Instead of having some compassion and appreciating someone's comfort food, you'd rather dump all over it to make yourself feel better. I guess that's what yankees do?

      Besides, I'd rather have this than a fluffer nutter.

      June 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Sydney

      @ Pragmaclast- You rock; that is exactly what I'm thinking.

      July 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  10. Lushrimfire

    Sorry Buddy; a real hot dog is grilled on a grilled new england style bun (flat sided) top that with yellow mustard, sweet relish and diced onions , maybe a bit of celery salt. Mmmm

    June 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chris

      I agree. The Swedes also have a pretty neat way of making them, too: they top them with mashed potatoes and lettuce. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds delicious.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Youfail

      Wow. What an utter lack of imagination to think there is only one way to use an ingredient. Dinnertime at your place mush be a sad and tedious affair.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • Ligten Up

      Everybody has their favorite, that doesn't mean anyone else's favorite is wrong.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  11. dragonwife

    Hot dogs can be delicious, as long as you get a good brand and not the cheap "mystery-meatlike substance" garbage. A well-made hot dog with your choice of toppings can be a real treat. That said, I would be willing to try the recipe above, with a good Texas toast slice (maybe with a bit of garlic butter added before toasting), a yummy beef hot dog, and some colby Jack cheese.... mmmmm.... dinner.....

    June 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  12. jrp323

    My father used to make this for us all the time when I was a kid. This is a Southern dish.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Chris

      And like a typical Southern dish, it is twice as much food and fat as any normal person needs. No wonder y'all resemble beach balls. Seriously, you guys make the rest of us look bad. Please secede.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
      • May Belle@Chris

        Why should us Southerners change anything we do? The only way you look bad is because you keep showing your azz every time you post one of your hateful, ignorant & judgmental comments.


        June 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
      • Chris

        Why should you Southerners change anything you do? Because everything you do, you suck at. That's why.

        June 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
      • Oscar

        Maybe that's because when 'typical southern dishes' were evolving, people actually worked. Not sitting at a desk shuffling papers around, but llifting, hauling, etc. so 'normal' portions for them were much larger than for city slickers.

        June 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
      • Pragmaclast

        You're certainly giving them a run for their money in the hate department, Chris.

        June 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
      • ATL Native

        You haven't seen Coach Richt, have you? He is as fit as anyone could hope to be. They're only excess calories if you don't burn them.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:06 am |
      • Chris

        @ Oscar – Are you serious? You guys had black people to do all the hard labor for you.

        July 1, 2011 at 8:42 am |
      • BWAHAHAHA!

        Oscar, did you honestly just use the term "city slickers?"
        Comedy GOLD!
        Yeah, you're a real down-home working-class dawn-to-dusk in-the-dirt country boy, what with your plenty of time to comment on the Internet and all...
        Heh, heh, heh...

        July 1, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  13. Yoja

    This is seriously disturbing.

    June 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • John

      Don't be a snob.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  14. Patrickk

    Pleases, hot dogs?
    And you Americans wonder why nobody takes your unrefined tastes seriously.

    June 30, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Jenna Haze

      I have American men eat my pie all of the time. Now go get your teeth fixed Limey!!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • jon

      Because there's nothing more tasteless than British Tea.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Dave

      I once spent 6 months in the UK and Ireland.
      Eel pie, black pudding, sausages that are mostly bread, and unseasoned mashed potatoes...yuck!

      Excellent ale, it has to be to wash down the flavor, or lack of it.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Pragmaclast

      Our unrefined American hot dogs are better known as frankfurters (Frankfurt) or wieners (Vienna) in other parts of the world.

      June 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Well played!

      I say, old chap, you have hit upon one of the most effective and time-honored methods of gaining the esteem of others! Belittle them and scorn the things they like, that is sure to gain you stature in their eyes! Why, it is a virtual certainty that veritable legions of the American hoi polli are just champing at the bit to bask in your disapproval. Why, I should be quite surprised if there weren't a monument being commissioned to your superiority at this very minute!
      Well done, I say!

      July 1, 2011 at 9:10 am |
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