Andrew Levins is the man-behind-the-menu at The Dip, the dining wing of Sydney’s CBD nightlife inner sanctum Goodgod Small Club, and whose snacky recipes for pulled pork, hot wings and grilled corn have gained a devoted following of addicted salt slaves since opening in 2011. Eventually his uniquely-titled take on American diner fare gained the attention of a publisher, and a few months later here we have it: Levins’ first cookbook Diner.

Diner‘s packed with recipes inspired from spots across continental North America down to Texas and further south of the border with several of The Dip’s staples in the mix including Confuse Di Mouth. It looks like a hot dog but tastes like a cheeseburger. I mean, have you ever!? Levins generously shared the recipe with us along with his guide to reaching hot dog perfection. Mouth is watering…

A hot dog is a joyous thing. Essentially it’s a bun with a frankfurt inside, topped with whatever you want. But before you put the most ridiculous salsa or the most expensive cheese on top – you’ve gotta get those essentials perfect. Here are some tips to achieve hot dog nirvana.

1. Only use kosher frankfurts
They are 100 per cent beef, smoked and delicious. They grill better than pork frankfurts and are a nicer, much redder colour. Try getting them from a kosher butcher or in the kosher section of the supermarket.

2. Grill your frankfurts
It tastes better and by not boiling them you avoid one of the worst things about hot dogs: the dreaded hot dog flavoured water.

3. Steam your buns
It makes the entire dog nice and warm and the pillowy bread makes the whole thing easier to eat. We have brioche hot dog buns made specially for our dawgs – try and find something similar with a high sugar content.

4. Every hot dog needs a squiggle of American mustard down the middle.
Hot dogs just look and taste better with that squiggle of mustard. It’s essential.

Now that we’ve gotten the essentials out of the way, try making one of the hot dogs from my new book Diner. This is the Confuse Di Mouth – the hot dog that tastes like a cheeseburger!

The full name of this hot dog is ‘The Ro Sham Bo Confuse Di Mouth Commemorative Cheeseburger Dawg’. It’s a bigger mouthful to say than it is to eat! A couple of years back, I started a DJ crew called Ro Sham Bo. Since we played a wildly diverse range of music our motto was ‘confuse di dance’. When we put on the last ever Ro Sham Bo party I made up this hot dog as a tribute. The dance confusion may be over, but the mouth confusion will live on forever with a hot dog that tastes like a cheeseburger!

4 kosher frankfurts
4 good quality hot dog buns
200g (7oz) cheddar cheese, grated
2 Dill Pickles (see Sauces, Salsas, Salads &
Sides ), cut lengthwise into spears
1/4 white onion, finely diced
ketchup (or tomato sauce)
American mustard

Fill a large pan with water and place a steamer on top. Bring it to a rolling boil over high heat.
Heat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high. Grill the frankfurts lengthwise across the grill until they start to char. Turn regularly to ensure they’re cooking evenly.
Cut the buns lengthwise, leaving 1cm (1/2 in) of bread at the bottom of the roll.
Stuff 60g (2oz) of cheese into each bun and place them in the steamer. Steam the buns for 2 minutes until the cheese has completely melted.
Place a grilled frankfurt over the cheese in each bun. On one side of the bun, place two pickle spears next to the frankfurt and sprinkle some chopped white onion on the other. Squirt a zig zag of ketchup over the hot dog, followed by a zig zag of mustard, and serve.

Start this recipe 1 hour before you want to eat it.

Makes 4 hot dogs.

For more deliciousness of this ilk you’ll need your own copy of Diner. It’s available for under $20 at either or Book Depository.

Main image by Luke Latty.