Nearly every kid loves hot dogs, but a lot of adults do, too. After all, Americans will eat 7 billion hot dogs this summer, so kids can’t be eating all of them!
July is National Hot Dog month, so it’s a great time to throw some ‘dogs on the grill for an easy summer cookout. (If you’re worried about the fat content, look for all-turkey dogs, or low-fat or non-fat varieties that can have as few as 50 calories each.)
And how will you dress your dog? The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, which tracks such things, says mustard is the most popular condiment, followed by ketchup and then chili, with relish and onions far behind. But why not mix it up a bit? Check these ideas for bringing some unusual, gourmet, or regional flavors to your table:
- Top with fried onions (like Durkee’s) and spicy mustard.
- Top with ranch dressing and cooked, crumbled bacon. A more adult alternative: Use blue cheese dressing and crumbled blue cheese along with the bacon!
- Instead of offering chopped raw onions, grill or sauté slices of onions and red and green bell peppers, similar to the topping you typically get on Italian sausage.
- Frito-pie dog: Top with chili, grated cheese, and crumbled Fritos.
- Make it Asian style: Instead of ketchup, use teriyaki sauce; soy sauce; sriracha sauce, a spicy, Asian-inspired chile sauce; or hoisin, a slightly sweet, slightly spicy Chinese-style sauce.
- Chicago ‘dog: Load it up with yellow mustard, relish, chopped raw onion, tomato slices, celery salt, and serve in a soft poppy seed bun. A dill pickle spear can be stuffed in the bun as well.
- Kansas City ‘dog: Melted Swiss cheese and warm sauerkraut, stuffed into a sesame-seed bun.
- Mexico ‘dog: At streetside stalls across Mexico, the hot dog is given star treatment: It’s wrapped in bacon and grilled, then topped with chopped raw onion and tomato; tomatillo (green) salsa; and a squirt of hot sauce, and served in a soft egg bun. You can then add mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard if you please.
This easy topping recipe is billed as a Texas-style ‘dog, thanks to its barbecue sauce and pickle-spiked coleslaw.