Monday, February 8, 2010

Cheap Bastid's Wieners Wellington

Well, I’ve been threatening to do a post on Wieners Wellington for a while now. It is a prominent recipe in the cookbook I wrote for my kids a couple of years ago—“Dad’s Everyday Cookbook and Kitchen Survival Guide”.

Chef Gordon Ramsey judges “cheftestants” on “Hell’s Kitchen” based on how well they can execute his recipe for Beef Wellington. Now, Cheap Bastid doesn’t have the budget for beef tenderloin and puff pastry so I’ve had to make do all these years with Crescent rolls and hot dogs.

But that’s OK. My kids always loved them. They could pick them up and drag them through their ketchup and snarf down as many as they wanted (subject to the limits of a tube of Crescent rolls, of course). And, kids still love ‘em. Even better, Carolyn and I love ‘em too. The only down side is that Crescent rolls are at least 2bucks a tube (store brand or Pillsbury on special).

So, it’s not the cheapest of Cheap Bastid meals—but it’s still only $3 including the wieners (that’s if you buy the cheapies on special made with pork, chicken and turkey (gaaaaaack!). The downside of hot dogs is that the good ones (all beef) now cost at least $4 for a 1 lb. package. For 4 bucks a pound I expect steak not wieners!

Wieners Wellington
Hot Dogs (however many you want)
Crescent rolls (either store brand or Pillsbury)
Cheese slices (American, or cut slices off a block of cheddar)

Take out a cookie sheet. Pre-heat oven to 375. Open the tube of crescent rolls and remove the dough (let the dough sit out for about 10 minutes to warm to room temperature).

Slit each hot dog you’re going to cook lengthwise about 2/3 of the way through. Slice the cheese into strips about ½” wide and put 2 pieces into each hot dog (enough to go from end-to-end). (Skip this step if you’re not doing cheese wiener wellington).

Starting at the short end of the triangle of dough, wrap the hot dog (what you want to do is totally encase the hot dog in the crescent roll). The first time you ever do this, you may make a bit of a mess.

Then roll the dough covered wiener gently between the palms of your hands to smooth the dough over the entire dog. You just have to practice a bit and get it right through trial and error. (I have made some pretty ugly “Wieners Wellington” in my day).

Put into oven for about 10-12 minutes (golden brown).

This dish is perfect when accompanied with the Home Fries that I posted last week. Add a small salad and you’ve got a full meal of 2-3 wieners per person and a couple of extra crescent rolls.

The Cheap Bastid Test: For such a simple meal with simple ingredients, this is kind of marginal for the Cheap Bastid Test. You’ve got at least $3 in ingredients for a maxiumum of 8 Wieners Wellington. OK, that’s $.37 each so it’s not all that bad. But the price can go up quickly if you use pricier hot dogs which many people will do. However, this is a pretty good and simple family meal (or couples meal or even just kids meal) and in its own way is a treat.

So give it a try. You could even “gussy it up” with wine or milk served in a wine glass and candlelight for just that hint of romantic ambiance. In other words, you can have just a little bit of fun with it.

That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good, Eat Cheap, Be Grateful

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