Today is opening day for the Florida Marlins, and lots of folks at the stadium will be celebrating in traditional manner -- by which we mean eating hot dogs. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council's 2010 survey of hot dog and sausage consumption at major league ballparks in the U.S., 21,378,064 frankfurters were expected to be sold last season. It is estimated that Americans will eat enough hot dogs at major league ballparks during a season to stretch from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg -- and back. Hot Dog King Louie DiRaimondo, president of All-American Hot Dog Carts, is all set for the season to get under way.
"Baseball and hot dogs go hand in hand," says Louie. "The outlandish statistics on hot dog consumption prove that. And the Hot Dog King always gives fans what they want." With this giving spirit in mind, Louie has created a few team-oriented recipes for his "Louie's All-American Kosher Hot Dogs." He's got one for the Yankees (onion sauce and spicy yellow mustard); Phillies (boiled hot dog topped with thinly sliced top round steak, browned onions, and melted cheese (warm, with a bit of Philadelphia Cream Cheese added) on a hoagie roll; and for the Red Sox, a grilled hot dog topped with baked beans. There was no hot dog for the Marlins on the list, so I asked Louie to create one. He came up with a doozie.
"Since I'm a Florida resident, I thought I'd cook up something special for the Marlins fans. I think they'd enjoy a South Florida twist on Cuban cuisine. Start with a boiled hot dog in a toasted bun -- coat the bun with a mixture of garlic and butter prior to toasting. Top the hot dog with a thin layer of yellow seasoned rice, slow cooked black beans (with onions and green peppers), and then sprinkle on a little bit of fried plantains (cut into long thin strips) for a sweet finish. The result is an 'in-hand' Cuban-inspired meal that replaces the classic ropa vieja with a juicy hot dog!"
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Louie began his career in the early 1970s as a hot dog vendor, and began manufacturing American Hot Dog Carts in 1988 (the business is located at 292 NW 54th St. in Miami). He still lives in Miami Beach. And although the Hot Dog King concocts all sorts of interesting recipes, his topping preference is "mustard and raw onions."
And what does the King think of the hot dogs he has tasted at the Marlins' ballpark? "Overall it is a satisfactory hot dog -- all beef, juicy, and tasteful. And there was mustard handy, so I was a happy eater! But at the end of the day, you just can't beat Louie's All American Kosher Premium Hot Dogs."