New Jersey Italian Hot Dogs

So this week started out with two Irish classics.

But I gotta go back to the food I love most. Sorry folks. Another Italian dish coming up today.

But this isn’t just any Italian dish. This is an Italian-American New Jersey original.

Italian Hot Dogs.

Ever been to Jersey? Ever heard of Jimmy Buff’s? If you answered yes and then no, call up whoever you were visiting in New Jersey and say “Hey, forget about it! You didn’t take me to Jimmy Buff’s?”

If you can’t get back out to Jersey anytime soon, no worries. You can make the awesomeness that is an Italian hot dog at home.

Just a few simple ingredients:

3 green bell peppers, diced

2 yellow onions, sliced into half moos

2 yukon potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks

hot dogs

Italian bread (no hot dog rolls!)

olive oil



spicy mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking dish with foil. Toss the potatoes into the dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss into the oven for about 20 minutes. The potatoes take longer to cook so we’re giving them a head start.


Remove the potatoes and add the peppers and the onions, seasoning with more salt and pepper, and adding another touch of olive oil. Stir everything up, then back into the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes.


You want the onions to brown up and the peppers to blister a bit.

At Jimmy Buff’s they actually fry this mixture, but 1. roasting is less messy and 2. it’s slightly healthier and 3. you don’t have to babysit a pot of oil.


When the veggie mix is nice and cooked, get your hot dogs ready. You grill them or broil them. DO NOT BOIL THEM! You need the char on the dogs and boiling will just leave them rubbery and sad.

And Nobody wants a sad hot dog.

Okay ready?

Italian bread.


Spicy mustard


Hot dog


Potato, pepper and onion mix.




Chili Cheese Dip




This little creation comes to you from my Aunt Tina.

For the longest time I couldn’t make this anywhere but the beach because that’s where we always had it. But now that my fiance has had it too it’s in the normal rotation in our itty bitty city kitchen.

This is a fantastic dip for watching a football game. Or a hockey game. Fall’s in the air so it has me thinking of lazy Sundays cooking and eating while watching the game.

But this is also a fantastic summer side dish. All wet and sandy from the beach and starving after a day of swimming and playing bag-o but dinner still so far away.

This takes two ingredients and two minutes And will satisfy hunger pangs until dinner is on the table.

You will need pepper jack cheese and a can of hormel chili with no beans.


Cut up half the block of cheese into cubes. You’ll only need half for each dip, so if you have a lot of people, buy two cans of chili and one block of cheese for two bowls of it.

Place the cubes of cheese in a microwave safe bowl. Pour out the chili into another, larger, microwave safe bowl.

Microwave the chili for about a minute. I suggest covering the bowl with a paper towel so you don’t have a mess.


Take the chili out and microwave the cheese for about 30 seconds to a minute, until the cheese is melted. I’d start on the low end of the time because you don’t want to burn the cheese and all microwaves are different.


Pour the molten cheese into the chili and stir. You can zap it in the microwave again if you feel it isn’t hot enough .




There you have it. Two ingredients. And a fantastic dip. Dig in with some tortilla chips.


Or, if you’re feeling especially indulgent, top hot dogs with the dip for a chili cheese dog night. Perfect meal for catching a Yankees game.