I love me a good tube steak.
Hot dogs get a bad name because of how most people are used to preparing and eating them. To most, having a hot dog means grabbing a shriveled up, lukewarm link from a tray because they didn’t want the dried out hamburgers your great uncle made at the 4th of July family picnic. Then, they stick them in a dry bun and throw on some watery bottled relish (half of which soaks up into the bun, gross), and perhaps some store brand ketchup.
Doesn’t sound very good to me either…
But thats not the way it’s meant to be! Hot dogs are screaming for some diverse toppings and preparation, not to be some after-thought to appease the picky eaters that might come to your house. And I realize they aren’t huge, but you won’t have to Kobayashi them to feel like you had a full meal if you just added some yummy toppings.
It’s time people respected the hot dog again.
I created 4 wicked easy and delicious dogs to share with you to prove how tantalizing these boys can be. Let’s not waste any time:
#1. Baked Beans, Mustard, and Celery Salt
It’s not breaking news that baked beans go well with hot dogs, but people forget from time to time. Give your hot dog a big scoop of beans, and a line of yellow mustard. If you’ve ever made beaked beans from scratch, you’ll know that many recipes ask for mustard, so this isn’t a bad pairing. As for the celery salt, if you haven’t used it before – prepare to have your life drastically changed.
#2. Wasabi Arugula Salad
This is a simple way to give your dog a little much needed green, and it has a strong horseradish-y hit for everyone who wants to have a little heat. I used a spoonful of wasabi mayo from Trader Joe’s and coated some baby arugula. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top and you’re ready to clear out that lingering head cold.
#3. Sriracha Mac N Cheese
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I whipped up a box of Annie’s shells and let Courtney have what I didn’t use for the hot dogs, and then liberally applied Sriracha. Good without it if you want your 5 year old to enjoy along with you, unless they are a heat freak.
#4. The Quesadilla Dog
Perhaps my favorite. This one gets a large helping of refried beans before the dog gets in the roll, then you accompany it with some fresh sliced jalapeños (keep the seeds in you daredevil) and shredded cheddar. You can always go further on this if you want. Sour cream, hot sauce, guac – it will all work.
Other Hot Dog Pro Tips:
Toast the bun! I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes. A little butter, then get them on the grill, stove, or oven for just a minute on each side. So good.
Don’t boil them. This brings back my point from earlier on. Name one other boiled meat that you just can’t get enough of…there aren’t any. Grill or stovetop, let them burst.