So, I have to run something by you guys. Apparently, in Texas, hot dogs are classified as a breakfast food. Usually in the form of pigs in a blanket. Don’t get me wrong, they’re also welcome at tailgates and evening barbecues, but if you want to start the morning with a dog, it’s all good down here. What is this?! Have y’all heard of this? I really thought I was being tricked at first.
I first heard of this phenomenon from my boyfriend, Rob, a born-and-bred Austinite who wanted me to make lil’ smokies for brunch one morning. I thought he was just being a funky meat-loving dude, but turns out he was onto something, because a few weeks later, someone brought a pastry box into work and told everyone to help themselves to breakfast. I assumed it was a box of doughnuts, so imagine my surprise… pigs in a blanket! So the stories were true! Rob explained (after a respectable amount of “I-told-you-so” banter) that Czech kolaches are quite popular in Central Texas. I still had my doubts (and had actually never heard of kolaches before moving here) but the Internet confirmed his story. Kolaches started in eastern Europe as a sweet, fruit-filled pastry, but over here they’re more likely to be stuffed with sausage and/or cheese (Wikipedia calls savory types klobasnek, but they’re all called kolaches here.)
Okay! Now you know how I learned to stop worrying and love the morning hot dog. It didn’t take much effort to accept it– in fact, I wanted to embrace it wholeheartedly and really kick up the breakfast aspect. One of my favorite, most indulgent brunch dishes is also bread stuffed with meat and cheese: the croque madame. Why not combine Czech with French to make the ultimate cheesy, meaty masterpiece? Thus, my monstrous hot dog creation was born. Kolache expert (and fellow croque madame lover) Rob gave it an A+, so I figure I must be onto something.
Croque Madame Breakfast Hot Dog