How Rachael Ray Gives A Major Upgrade To Pigs In A Blanket

Everyone knows what pigs in a blanket is, right? This tiny appetizer — made by cutting up a hot dog, wrapping it in canned biscuit or croissant dough, and then baking it until done — is easy-to-make, affordable, and a clear winner with kids and many adults. They're popular at potlucks and parties and have been for a while. 

According to Cook's Info, the oldest definition of a pigs in a blanket-type appetizer dates to the 1800s, when cooks would roll seasoned oysters in bacon before cooking them and serving them on toast. While this doesn't make much sense, as the pig isn't actually under the blanket in this dish, it was a definition that stuck until the 1950s, when the more modern take on the pig in a blanket arrived.

Of course, with a dish so simple — there are literally just two ingredients — it's expected that it would be reinvented many times over the decades. Rachael Ray is one of the many chefs to put her own spin on the crowd favorite, and the resulting major upgrade might just be good enough to stick around for the long haul, at least in Ray's fans' kitchens.

Pigs in a blanket, adult-style

The main complaint adults often have with the classic pigs in a blanket recipe is that it's just too simple. It's just a hot dog and some bread. Tasty? Yes. Impressive? Not so much. It's not going to win over very many refined palates. However, Rachael Ray's interpretation of the classic dish could change all that.

Per the "Rachael Ray Show" website, Ray put together a cheese-stuffed pigs in a blanket recipe inspired by a friend who loved the dish as a child. Ray's upgrade, however, requires home cooks to split the hotdogs and cook them on the stovetop before baking, which allows for more browning and greater overall flavor. 

After the hot dogs are browned and filled with cheese, they're rolled in crescent dough (and not sliced, so you get the whole dog), and also rolled in "everything" seasoning before baking. Then, rather than just serving the finished product with your standard ketchup and mustard, Ray serves her upgraded pigs in a blanket with chili and brown sugar-infused sautéed onions, plus brown mustard and slaw.