Matt Neal's sister, Madeline, is a big hot dog fan who constantly comes up with ideas for toppings. She suggested this terrific, if unlikely, combination of cinnamony sautéed apples with slices of sharp cheddar cheese, served on top of hot dogs tucked into pretzel rolls.
Great Picnic Recipes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large Granny Smith apples—peeled, halved, cored and cut into scant
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
6 hot dogs
6 long pretzel rolls or hot dog buns, split
3 ounces thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the apples and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until barely softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in the cinnamon and keep warm.
Heat a grill pan. Grill the hot dogs over high heat until lightly charred all over, about 5 minutes. On a baking sheet, set the dogs in the rolls and top with the cheddar cheese. Bake for about 3 minutes, just until the cheese is melted. Top with the apples and serve at once.
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