Independence Day Hot Dogs
If you’re planning on biting into a juicy hot dog this July 4th, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that Americans enjoy about 150 MILLION hot dogs on Independence Day. In case you’re curious, that enough to stretch from DC to LA more than 5 times! Here are some quick ways to jazz up your franks and buns.
Take your hot dog the Vietnamese route with a Banh Mi Dog. Just throw on some sliced cucumber and shredded carrots. Ditch the classic ketchup and mustard duo and sub it out for some spicy mayo and perhaps a tangy sweet and sour dressing for the condiments. Top with a few mint leaves and you have a delicious and easy American-Vietnamese fusion sandwich.
For a fruity spin on the classic dog, try throwing together a fruit salsa. Maybe mango or some watermelon, combined with a healthy dose of cilantro, lime juice, jalapenos, and salt and pepper to taste. The sweet and savory combo is perfect for a summertime meal spent outdoors.
For an unexpected twist, top your frankfurter with shredded cabbage and sliced scallions. Mix together 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons tahini — which is sesame paste — and 2 tablespoons plain yogurt — this makes enough for 4 hot dogs, by the way. Drizzle on top of your hot dogs, and top with some crushed red pepper to kick up the heat.
If you want a healthier approach to the hot dog, opt for a turkey dog to start. Then top with baby arugula, pickled beets and drizzle with some oil and vinegar dressing. You can even play around with various kinds of cheeses, from herbed goat cheese to a couple thin slices of shaved parmesan.
But if health and calories are really not an issue for you — let’s face it, we all need to splurge every once in a while! — then load up a bacon barbecue dog with sliced bacon, homemade barbecue sauce and some grated Cheddar. Or for something more original, transform your favorite Reuben into a Reuben with a bun. Put a couple dollops of sauerkraut on your hot dog and then melt some Swiss on top. Drizzle some Thousand Island dressing on it all, and you have a flavorful spin on the class mustard-ketchup-relish mainstay.
The classic frankfurter is the perfect canvas for trial and error, and provides a great foundation for unlikely flavor combinations. So, fire up those grills, get those franks cooking, and start dressing your buns with American pride.