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Gourmet Hot Dog Recipe: Poor Man's Surf & Turf

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Tom Lohr has eaten a hot dog at all 30 MLB ballparks and is the author of "Gone to the Dogs: In Search of the Best Ballpark Hot Dog."

The Poor Man's Surf & Turf

The Poor Man's Surf & Turf

There isn't a person on the planet that hasn't had the occasional hankering for the renown surf & turf dinner—a juicy steak laid out with a lobster tail dripping with butter. It's the best of both worlds: beef and seafood. The problem is that a surf & turf dinner is super pricey. Not to mention the restaurant probably won't let you in wearing your pajamas. Do not despair! With the Poor Man's Surf & Turf Dog, you can have that beef and seafood treat on the skimpiest of budgets. And you can eat it while wearing your PJs.

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The brand of shrimp is pretty much irrelevant, but be sure to use a fresh bun and an all-beef frank. After all, you can't have the turf in surf 'n turf unless you are using beef. We prefer Hebrew National brand, but any high quality all-beef frank will do. It is better if the avocado is slightly over ripe than under ripe.


  • hot dog
  • hot dog bun, one per hot dog
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 package cocktail shrimp, peeled
  • cocktail sauce
  • 1 can cooking spray


  1. Ensure the shrimp, if frozen, has completely thawed and is only slightly chilled. Peel and slice the avocado into thin strips. Slightly warm the cocktail sauce.
  2. Over medium heat, place up to three hot dogs into the skillet. Roll frequently to ensure even cooking.
  3. Once the franks are mostly done, lightly spray the buns. Push the franks to one side in the skillet and put as many buns that will fit onto their side in the skillet. Let warm for 20 second, repeat with the other side for 20 seconds. Slightly open bun and place like a pup tent in a triangle on the skillet for an additional 20 seconds to warm the inside.
  4. Place a frank into each bun. Add enough cocktail shrimp to totally cover the wiener. Add cocktail sauce to take and garnish with avocado slices.

Want to make this meal really pop? Ditch those pajamas for formal wear and dine by candle light. Trust us on this. And when the evening is done, your tummy will still be satisfied, your taste buds will have noticed little difference, and your wallet will be a lot fatter.

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