Worm Burgers - Creepy Halloween Recipe! (It's hot dog worms!))
Creep out your kids...
I don't remember how long ago I first started making 'worm burgers' for Halloween. But I've done this for years, and I've had a blast doing it. Of course the basic 'burger' is nothing but hot dogs, but the simple act of naming it a worm makes kids of all ages able to SEE worms. I love that!
I do have to say - think about the kids you're serving creepy food to. I've had Halloween parties for years, and served literally dozens of kids - and on occasion I run into one who just can't see beyond the 'magic'. That's kinda cool - in that they buy so totally into what you're doing. On the other hand, creeping one out a little too much, esepcially right before Trick or Treating? Not so much. For the most part though, a wink will suffice for most kids. And of course there are the coolest ones who respond with "Worms? GROSS! Cool!". Those are my favorite.
I really like putting together creep-themed real meals before taking a group out to Trick or Treating. I don't mind letting the kids have all the candy they want that night - it only comes once a year after all. But I do get rather insistent on at least starting them off with food that their bodies might actually make use of. You can change this up any way you want - add a bit of barbecue or sloppy joe sauce to the crockpot, and simmer them that way. Or do them simply like in the photo and allow the children to top their burgers as they would their favorite hot dogs. The first works well for older kids who may have more developed palettes - younger ones may be pretty stuck on just ketchup. That's ok - let them have whatever they like. You've already worked your little visual magic, and gotten a relatively decent amount of 'real' food into them before the candy-fest. You can also add any wonderful hot dog toppins you prefer - kraut, chili, mustards and onions - in my case our favorite is spicy pickled relish, and the worms rest on a bed of mild, creamy, cole slaw.
Your party though - your choices! Take this one - and have a Happy Halloween!
- (For six servings, easy to add or subtract)
- 8 all beef hot dogs
- 8 hamburger buns
- 3 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
- 3 green onions, minced (including green tops)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tbl red wine vinegar
- 1/4 (scant measure) sugar
- kosher salt
- The easiest way to do the 'worms' is in the crockpot, but you can do it on the stovetop in a heavy bottom saucepan on low. Slice the hot dogs lengthwise - each one into at least 8 strips. The thinner the strips, the more wormy they look.
- Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of a crockpot, and add the hot dog strips. Turn the crock pot on low, and allow to gently cook for about two hours. The hot dog strips will gently curl as they cook.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the cabbages, carrot and green onion.
- Whisk together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar and sugar. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture. Taste, and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- To serve, toast the burger buns, and place a small nest of the slaw on the bottom bun. Top with a nest of the hot dog worms - twirling them a little to be more squiggly. Add relish if you like, set the bun top against the side, and serve.
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectacular results!