Mushroom Chili Dogs: Improv Challenge


Many people say that television has too much of an influence on children.  Perhaps, perhaps not.

Either way, I love television.  Reality shows, movies, HBO (Best ever!), cooking shows, Real Housewives of anywhere, sci-fi, historical- I will take them all.  And television has been an influence on me throughout my life.  Back in childhood, I had my definite favorites.  I love Lamb-Chop and grew seriously attached to my stuffed lamb Linda because of it (she may or may not still have a place in my adult bed…TMI? I apparently need some more human contact).  Anotehr favorite of mine was no doubt Sonic the Hedgehog

I always wished I could be Tails. Being a fox with two tails that could propel me through the sky was an ultimate childhood dream.  And to be friends with Sonic? I could die happy.  I still can’t even talk about that episode when Tails was considering allying with Dr. Robotnik and betraying Sonic.  Can’t.

Well, when this month’s Improv Challenge came along with the task of using mushrooms and sausage in a dish, I got a wicked idea.  I was going to create a chili dog, Sonic and Tail’s favorite food.

When I first ate a chili dog as a child, I hated it.  And I felt guilty to disagree with Sonic, but what was the appeal young hedgehog?! Now I like chili dogs, but I wanted to update it and adapt it to my tastes this time.  Creating a rich mushroom chili on top of sausage.  Delicious.

I’m having a childhood flashback to when my parents used to sing “Dr. Robotnik, he’s my hero” just to spite me.  I need a chili dog.

From Cinnamon Freud


For the Mushroom Chili:
3-4 cups chopped mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

For the Chili Dogs:
4 Italian sausages
4 hotdog buns
Chopped onions, for serving
Shredded cheese, for serving


For the Mushroom Chili:

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add enough butter to coat pan. Stir in mushrooms, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook until browned and tender, about 5-9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Simmer until reduced and thickened, about 10-15 minutes.

For the Chili Dogs:

Heat grill over medium-high heat. Grill sausages for about 3-5 minutes per side (this will vary based on the type of sausage being used). Place hotdog buns face down on grill to toast. Place sausages in buns. Top with mushroom chili. Garnish with chopped onions or cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 chili dogs.

Thanks to Frugal Antics of the Harried Homemaker for hosting! Make sure to check out what everyone else made this month!

4 thoughts on “Mushroom Chili Dogs: Improv Challenge

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