A dealer should never dip into his own stash, but I couldn't help myself:
I canceled this past Saturday's party, and we rescheduled for this coming Sunday the 20th. This has given the huge buckets of chili I'd made time to get in a little flavor-marriage in my fridge. I thawed the chili on Friday, then reheated the whole mess on Saturday after adding a bit of extra cumin and chili powder to tweak the flavor... and the result was incredible.
The hot dogs were a surprise, too. From my basement-level grocery, eMart Everyday (a very scaled-down version of the normally huge eMart chain), I took a risk and bought the house-brand dogs. EMart's house brand is called, strangely, "No Brand," but despite the weird name, No Brand products have generally been quite good (their cola, for example, has half the sugar of regular Coke and tastes just fine). The franks, unlike your typical Korean franks, aren't wrapped in those annoying, condom-like individual plastic wrappers that are hard to peel off intact even if you use a knife, so that's a definite plus. The dogs also have an authentically American mouth-feel to them. In terms of taste, it's less pork and more toward the beef/veal end of the spectrum, like any number of German sausages.
Overall, I liked these franks enough to buy several packs of them for Sunday's party. Normally, I'd go for Costco's house brand, Kirkland; Kirkland Dinner Franks are pornographically huge, and they bloat even larger when you boil them. They're generally good hot dogs (you can get them in beef or pork), but I've always felt there was something a bit "off" about them; I can't say what that "X" factor is. For my money, the most quintessentially "hot doggy" hot dogs are Hebrew National, my runaway favorite brand of dog. Hebrew National dogs are much smaller than either Kirkland's or No Brand's, but they're a hell of a lot more flavorful and are probably manufactured to higher standards of quality. I could eat those bad boys all day long, if that doesn't sound too gay.
So anyway, yeah, I made chili cheese dogs. As you see, I used regular sandwich bread; I'll be using proper hot-dog buns for the Sunday crowd. I think everyone will enjoy the spread; by my standards, at least, the chili passes muster: it's smoky, beefy, spicy, and delicious. I made salsa as well; it's got that subtle heat that creeps up on you, slowly setting fire to your asshole over the course of a day. I ate too much salsa the day I made it, and I sure as hell paid for it for the next two days. Use with caution. My part of the Sunday spread:
Crostini with Salmon Mousse
Chili dogs with trimmings: cheese, jalapeños, salsa (2 types), and hot-dog condiments
Nachos: corn chips, chili, cheese, salsa, guacamole, olives, jalapeños, lettuce, tomatoes
Other guys are dealing with drinks and dessert. Ought to be fun.