Hot dogs are an amazing invention, partly because of how versatile and fun they can be when you trick them out with toppings. Wrapped in bacon, nestled into a bun, covered with colorful toppings, and the zigzag of condiments, the Sonoran dog has to be one of the coolest, most visibly striking riffs of the genre.
Like many epic food creations, the origins of the Sonoran hot dog are hard to pin down. In a New York Times article from 2009, John T. Edge noted tales of bacon-wrapped dogs being fed to crowds at wrestling matches in the 1950s in Mexico City, and Sonora, but also suggested Oscar Meyer’s own print ads hawking the idea of bacon-wrapped dogs may have had something to do with how this riff began.
However it got started, the end result is a fun (and messy) one. Refried beans, tomatoes, onions, salsa, avocado, and well, bacon, all come together to create a colorful, zesty, indulgent and filling treat. For tang and texture, the refried beans in this recipe (Texan purists can call them Yankee refried beans all they like, but this riff is tasty!), incorporate an ingredient unlikely to be found in most traditional recipes, but one that Chicago-style hot dog lovers would never eat a hot dog without: pickles.
In any event, just make sure you have some moist, sturdy bread (no top-loading bun substitutions for the traditionally used bolilo rolls).
Add the mayonnaise to a pot over medium heat, then the can of drained pinto beans. When the beans start to bubble and soften, mash them until they’ve turned into a paste and add the water, stirring to combine.
Add the onions and pickle, then blend in the cheese and hot sauce. Reduce over medium-low heat until the consistency is loose but not runny. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and turn down the heat to the lowest setting, and cover until you’re ready to assemble the hot dog.
Throw the tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, lemon juice, and lime juice into a blender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pulse until the salsa is fluid. Adjust the heat and seasoning, to taste.
If your crema, mayonnaise, and mustard aren’t in squirt bottles you may want to put them into some or put some of these condiments in the corners of separate plastic bags (you can cut off the tips of the corners and squirt out the condiments).
Preheat a gas grill, grill pan, or griddle on high heat.
Wrap each frank with bacon from end to end. If you don’t have fresh bread straight from the bakery, turn the oven up to the highest setting so as to moisten and resuscitate the bread. Hold each roll under a cold running faucet briefly and only until the water has covered every part of the roll. Repeat for each roll, then put the rolls in the heated oven for about 5 minutes.
Once the bread is in the oven, put the dogs on the grill making sure to cook all the way through but do not burn the bacon, about 5 minutes.
To assemble each hot dog, cut the roll down the top from about ½ inch away from the end to the same place on the other side. Remove much of the interior of the bread to make room for all of the fillings (piping hot, so mind your fingers!).
Evenly cover the inside with a light coating of mayonnaise, and then with a layer of refried beans, about 3 tablespoons. Spread the beans everywhere along the inside of the roll. Squirt a liberal zigzag layering of mustard on top of the beans up and down the inside of the roll (you’ll need that tangy flavor inside), then nestle the bacon-wrapped dog inside.
Cover with the tomato, avocado, and red and white fresh and grilled onions. Zigzag the salsa verde from one end of the top of the dog to the other, repeat with the yellow mustard, and a final zigzag layer of crema. Admire and enjoy!