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Panchos Argentinos (Argentine-Style Hot Dogs)

Panchos Argentinos (Argentine-Style Hot Dogs)
Julia Child 1912-2014

Photo Credit for Featured Image: Bon Appetit Magazine

Julia Child had a guilty pleasure: She loved Hot Dogs. But not just any hot dog.

Like many of my generation, Julia Child was our introduction to cooking.  She excelled at de-mystifying techniques. Her delightful presence on TV included laugh-out-loud gaffes. She was Must-See TV.  I followed her long before there was an Instagram and I read everything written about her.  I distinctly remember an article in The New Yorker which followed Julia as she did yet another live demonstration for yet another charity.  Julia famously gave of her time. What I remember most was one detail. One lunch hour she and her husband Paul disappeared.  It turned out that they had gone to Costco for a hot dog, specifically Costco’s hot dog.  It was another passion she and I shared: the buy-in-bulk megastore. She shopped there frequently and she never missed the in-store snack bar. She loved Costco’s hot dog as “much as a fine French meal” she told Barbara Fairchild, then the Editor of Bon Appetit magazine.

Labor Day is the perfect time to put on the dog…especially this one.

Salsa Criolla

Julia might have been taken with this one. This is the Argentine equivalent of a New York City Sabrett, sold on the streets of Buenos Aires. Called a “Pancho”, they may have been named after their first vendor. Or there’s always the fact that “Pancho” is “Frank” in Spanish. Because you split the dogs down the middle and use two in one bun, it’s an unbelievable crush of flavor. I used “Hoagy Rolls” to accommodate both Costco’s longer dogs and all that goes on top of them. First Mayo then squirts of Yellow mustard.  Then the topping goes on–a vinegary, lemony  Salsa Criolla with its tiny dice of green pepper, onion, and tomato. Then push the two sides together and hola!

As wonderful as your Panchos will be, this is hardly health food!

There’s a certain amount of appetite suppression you get from reading the label on a package of Costco hot dogs. First off, they weigh in at ¼ lb plus for a single dog.  That dog has 48% of the Daily Recommendation for fat, 60 percent of it saturated, a whopping 48% of DR for sodium.  It can—and does tout its that it’s Gluten-Free and Contains No By-Products, Corn Syrup or fillers. But go ahead and have one.  Julia Child did frequently.  And she did live to be 91 years old.  Here is the recipe.

Panchos Argentinos (Argentine-style Hot Dogs)

September 3, 2020
: 4
: 10 min
: 10 min
: 20 min
: The hardest part of this recipe is fitting it all on a bun.

Argentina's terrific take on an American classic...piled high with condiments including the essential Salso Criolla.


  • For the Salsa Criolla:
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tomato, seeded, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • For the Hot Dogs and Assembly:
  • 8 all-beef Hot Dogs (preferably Costco's)
  • Mayonnaise (for serving)
  • 4 Hoagie buns, split
  • Yellow mustard (for serving)
  • Step 1 First Make the Salsa: Mix onion, bell pepper, and tomato in a large bowl. Add oil, vinegar, and lemon juice, then toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then toss again.
  • Step 2 Do Ahead: Salsa can be made 5 days ahead. Transfer to a jar or airtight container and chill. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before using.
  • Step 3 Next, make the Hot Dogs: Slice sausages in half lengthwise, going almost all the way through so they can be opened like a book, but are still attached on one side. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high until hot. Working in batches, cook sausages cut side down, weighting down with a spatula or a small pot lid and turning once, until slightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  • Step 4 Smear a generous amount of mayonnaise on both sides of buns. Arrange 2 butterflied hot dogs on each side of the buns, cut side facing the bread. Top with mustard and a generous amount of salsa.



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