It’s cookery week on The Grove Is On Fire and today’s first lesson is this; how to cook some hot dogs! If you don’t know how to cook hot dogs you will by the end of this. If you do know how to cook hot dogs you’ll feel patronised.
- As many hot dogs as your young people will eat (probably 3 or 4 per person)
- Slightly less hot dog buns than you have hot dogs (you can always put two hot dogs in a bun, you can’t put one hot dog in two buns).
- Condiments (e.g. ketchup, mustard, mayo, whatever you want).
- Optional: some sort of cooking oil, onions (say one medium sized onion per four people, but whatever, you probably have onions in your kitchen, relax).
- Fill up a large pan with water. Turn it on so it starts to boil. When it’s boiling turn it down slightly so it’s almost but not quite boiling (this is called simmering).
- Open the hot dog packet or jar, get rid of the water inside the packet or jar, put the hot dogs into the simmering water. You can do them all at once, or do half of them now and another half later. Whatever.
- After five or so minutes (hot dogs are already cooked, you’re just re-heating them, so if they haven’t been in for long enough or are in for too long, it doesn’t really matter.) remove them from the water. and put them on a plate. If you’re being classy put them on a plate with some kitchen roll so they dry out better.
- Get the young people to help themselves in an orderly fashion.
To make the hot dogs even nicer you can fry some onions to have with then. That’s easy.
- Cut up some onions.1
- Fry them. That means put a small amount of oil in a frying pan, let it heat up a bit till the onions sizzle slightly when they’re put on it (you can test this by putting an onion in the pan and seeing if it sizzles), then pushing them round the pan fairly frequently so they don’t burn until they’re towards the brown end of golden brown. This’ll take twenty minutes if you put them a low enough heat that means you can wander off for a bit and come back or ten minutes if you don’t mind turning the heat up but having to keep an eye on them.
- Serve with hot-dogs.
See! Cooking is easy. Alright, it’s debatable if you can call this cooking, but look how ridiculously easy it is to cater for large numbers of young people. And this is also how you learn to cook, do ridiculously simple things, then do less simple things, then before you know it you can do complex things.
1 Here is Gordon Ramsay showing you how to dice an onion. You probably don’t want your onions this small for hot dogs, so just leave out the last direction of slices he does. Or look at other videos till you get the idea. Youtube is a pretty good place to know about if you want to learn how to do anything cookery related. Also if you look up any recipe on the BBC Food website a lot of the more specific skills come with a little instructional video teaching you how to properly zest a lemon.