Hot Dogs: A Variety of Recipes for Easy, Delicious Summer Grilling
Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet
Nothing tastes better cooked out on the grill than an all-beef hot dog. Throw in some baseball, apple pie and a Chevy Camaro and you have the perfect all-American afternoon! And while you can easily enjoy those hot dogs prepared just about anyway that comes to mind, it is also great to have some different ideas for making each afternoon unique. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite hot dog recipes.
For each of the following recipes, you must have lightly toasted buns and hot dogs fresh off the grill, prepared to your personally preferred degree of crispiness. Even in these basics there is some room for variety. Some people prefer their buns buttered before grilling while others prefer them to not be buttered. Some people like to take the hot dogs off the grill as soon as they are cooked through while others like them well done or even crispy to the point they are almost burned. Also, you may want to substitute some sort of sausage dog or even a turkey dog for the standard hot dog wiener. It is up to you to make these decisions depending on what sets your taste buds watering.
Keeping It Simple
You can begin your summertime frankfurter adventure by choosing practically any combination of these hot dog condiments -- mustard, ketchup, onion, relish, chili. This keeps it simple, keeps preparation time to a minimum and creates delicious hot dogs with a traditional flavor. You could eat for weeks without having to repeat a combination -- just mustard, just relish, ketchup and chili, mustard and onion, mustard and onion and ketchup... My personal favorite "everyday" hot dog is chili, mustard and onion. Some folks love them with just ketchup and others believe ketchup on a hot dog is blasphemy. You get the idea, but this is just the tip of the wiener!
Mexican Hot Dog
What you need besides "the basics":
1 lb. hamburger
Taco seasoning (1 packet)
Hot dog sauce (1 can)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced jalapeno peppers (optional)
The secret to an excellent Mexican hot dog is the Mexican chili sauce. Begin by browning the hamburger and adding the taco seasoning per the directions on the seasoning packet. Then mix in the hot dog sauce.
Prepare the dogs by adding the Mexican chili, some salsa, a heaping helping of shredded cheese, and sliced jalapenos if desired. Make them while all ingredients are hot so the cheese will partially melt. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa. Muy delicioso!
Italian Hot Dog
Besides "the basics" you need:
Sliced or diced pepperoni
Grated Parmesan cheese
Black olives (optional)
Mild banana peppers (optional)
Cook pepperoni in frying pan until slightly crispy. Set aside. Sauté black olives, banana peppers and onion if desired, adding pizza sauce and Parmesan cheese once other ingredients are done to your taste.
Once the sauce is ready, place the wieners in the buns and top with crispy pepperoni. Add sauce to dogs and then extra Parmesan to taste. Mozzarella cheese sticks make an excellent side item for this dish.
Steak and Tater Dog
Add these to "the basics":
A1 sauce (or sauce of your choice)
Shredded cheddar cheese
You can cook your own steak fries for this variety or pick up some fries at a local fast food joint, but the fresh cooked route is definitely the tastier choice. Though if you happen to have a Bojangles restaurant nearby, their seasoned fries are perfect for this variety of hot dog.
Assembly of the dogs is pretty simple. Place fries in the bun, add the frankfurter. Top with steak sauce and cheddar cheese. Save some fries for a side dish, of course.
New York Dog
Additions to "the basics":
Slivered or diced onions
Spicy brown mustard
This is a super simple hot dog that is easy to prepare yet incredibly delicious. Prepare this hot dog by draining the sauerkraut and then sauteing it along with the onions. Place the wiener in the bun and add mustard to taste. Top with sauteed onions and kraut.
On the side, try pickle spears or Spanish olives. Chips or fries are also excellent choices if you want to be a little mainstream.
Western Style Hot Dog
What you will add to "the basics":
KC Masterpiece Smoky BBQ Sauce
(or your preferred sauce)
Slivered or diced onions
Smoked cheddar cheese
Bacon bits (optional)
Nothing enhances grilled food quite like tasty barbeque sauce. That can be as true of a hot dog as a rib-eye steak.
Sauté the onions for this creation then add the bacon bits if desired. Mix in the barbeque sauce and stir until heated. Once the dog is nestled in its bun, top with the smoked cheddar cheese and smother with the sauce straight from the heat so cheese will be melted.
Any type of fried potato will make an excellent side dish for this one -- chips, fries, tots, even hash browns. Sweet potato fries are also a good suggestion if you want something a bit out of the ordinary.
So there you have a few suggestions to spice up your hot dog repertoire. Needless to say, this is just the beginning. If you have had an interesting hot dog, leave a comment and tell us about it! Summer is right around the corner and it is never too early to get some interesting ideas to use once the grill is fired up!