Sunday, February 28, 2010

Octo-Dogs and Shells

One of the best parts of giving the Vintage Cookbooks talks has been the kindred spirits I've discovered. One is definitely the lovely Terri Suda, a dynamo programmer librarian from the Wauconda Public Library. Terri was a great hostess at that library, and I'm looking forward to returning with the Cakes program in May. She is also a foodie, and has her own business and blog. She wrote me this week with a funny recipe and story, and I asked her if I could post it. This is fantastic! - Amy

Hi Amy:

I can’t imagine how you must feel knowing that when those who are of your acquaintance come across a bizarre or off-the-wall recipe they immediately think of you! (Note from Amy: It is an odd sort of flattering...) The cover of this kid-friendly cook book stopped me in my tracks this afternoon. The cover alone gave me the shivers. Never would I serve such a dish to my precious grandbeans (kids, babies, what have you, but I’ve always referred to them as my beans). Dare I say this dish would be best suited for naughty children?

My husband (the hot dog king) would disagree, which is why he’ll never catch a glimpse of this recipe. One of our most memorable arguments ended in laughs when he said to me in exasperation, “...I don’t care if I die tomorrow eating a hot dog! At least I’ll die with a smile on my face!!” What could I say to that? “So eat your damn hot dogs!!” I’m happy to say that we have just celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. We’re in good health and the only time he eats hot dogs is when I’m not looking.

So here goes, a recipe for “Octo-Dogs and Shells.” The recipe isn’t vintage, it’s just gross looking.

Octo-Dogs and Shells
(from the Cooking for Kids Collection: 3 Cookbooks in One by Publications International, copyright 2000)

4 Hot Dogs (at least use Vienna)
1 ½ cups uncooked small shell pasta
1 ½ cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
Yellow mustard in squeeze bottle
Cheese flavored fish-shaped crackers

Lay 1 hot dog on side with end facing you (which end??). Starting 1 inch from one end of hot dog (guess it doesn’t matter which end) slice hot dog vertically in half. Roll hot dog ¼ turn and slice in half vertically again, making 4 segments connected at the top (handling a hot dog this much would have me passed out on the floor). Slice each segment in half vertically, creating a total of 8 “legs.” Repeat with remaining hot dogs.

Place hot dogs in medium saucepan; cover with water (just picturing the HD’s in water in a pan causes me to shudder). Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and give those dogs a rest.

Prepare pasta according to package directions, stirring in vegetables (this dish’s only redeemed quality) during last 3 minutes of cooking time. Drain and return to pan. Stir in Alfredo sauce. Heat over low heat until heated through. Divide pasta mixture between 4 plates (blue ones like the picture)

Drain “octo-dogs.” Arrange one octo-dog on top of pasta mixture on each plate. Draw faces on “heads” of octo-dogs with mustard. Sprinkle cracker fishies around pasta.

Makes 4 servings.

This recipe is an entree’ in the “Under the Sea” menu which also includes blue gelatin blocks with gummy fish and a “ School of Fish Cake .” I’m sure there are many kids who’d like this meal, parents too. Heck, maybe I’ll serve it to my hubby as a treat! Nothing says “I love you” like a hot dog cooked up fancy!

I left her comments and notes as is as it was too perfect. My husband loves hot dogs also. Yikes...

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Octo-dogs were in this month's, um, one of the magazines I read-Canadian Family? Family Fun? Parents? Anyway, I thought it looked like a hoot and Clark was definitely interested in it. I said I'd make it but promptly forgot all about it until I read this post! The magazine recipe was actually a bit grosser as you stick uncooked spaghetti into the end of the hot dog and then boil it and get dangly wiggly noodley tentacles. Creepy, yes?