Ditch the boring old Hot Dog

Hot dogs are great summer fare and a staple at summer cook-outs, but they’ve remained relatively unchanged in preparation for generations. It’s time to change that with these amazing hot dog combos and easy-add on’s for amazing taste.

Hot Dog 101

The trick to the tastiest weenie lies in gently warming them up in a flavorful liquid, heating them to the center, then quickly grilling to lightly crisp the exterior.

Ingredients

1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can beer of your choice
1/2 cup ketchup
Hot dogs, kielbasa, bratwurst or sausage of choice
Hot dog buns, side or top split

Preparation

Heat a grill to high heat.

Place a disposable aluminum lasagne pan on the grill and stir in the onions and olive oil. Bring the onions to a sizzle and once soft, about 15 minutes, stir in the beer and ketchup and bring the liquid to a simmer.

Transfer the sausage to the simmering liquid, cover with foil and cook until the hot dogs, kielbasa or brats are heated through or until uncooked sausage is firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the grill and transfer the sausages to the grill top to crisp the exterior, about 2 minutes per side.

Lay the buns on the grill, open side down to warm them and brown them slightly, about 30 seconds. You can butter them first if you desire.

Serve the sausages and buns direct from the grill. Head directly to the condiment table to fill ‘er up.


Classic Everything Dog

Wrapping a high quality hot dog with bacon helps to keep it moist and takes a basic dog to a new level.

Ingredients

Applegate Organic Stadium Beef Hot Dogs or hot dogs of your choice
Regular sliced bacon, 2 strips per dog
Sauerkraut, drained
1/2 cup beer
Bertman’s Ballpark Mustard or mustard of your choice
Ketchup
Sweet relish
Chopped Vidalia onions
Heinen’s Brioche hot dog buns, side or top split

Preparation

Heat a grill to high heat.

Wrap the dogs with bacon and secure the bacon to the dog with toothpicks.

Place a disposable aluminum lasagne pan on the grill and add the sauerkraut and beer, cover with foil and bring to a simmer.

Arrange the condiments in bowls on a tray.

Transfer the wieners to the grill and cook them until the bacon has crisped and the dogs are hot to the center, about 3 minutes per side. Watch them constantly as the bacon may drip and create flare-ups. When that happens, just move the dog to a different spot on the grill. Remove the toothpicks.

Lay the buns on the grill open side down about 30 seconds before the dogs are done to brown and warm them.

Load the dogs into the warm buns and serve immediately with condiments of your choice.


Reuben Dog

Hot dogs and corned beef? Why didn’t we think of this sooner?

Ingredients

Hebrew National hot dogs or hot dog of your choice
Sauerkraut
Center sliced hot dog buns
Two slices of corned beef per hot dog
Two slices Swiss cheese per hot dog
Thousand Island Dressing
Cole slaw, pickles, chips as an accompaniment

Preparation

Combine the beer mixture in Hot Dogs 101 and add the sauerkraut. Cover with foil and bring to a simmer. Add the hot dogs and cook until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer the pan off heat and load each bun with two slices corned beef and two slices Swiss cheese. Lay the buns on the grill cheese side up and close the lid to toast the outside of the bun and warm and melt the meat and cheese, about 30 seconds. Don’t worry if the cheese doesn’t look melted. The hot dog will continue to melt it further once it’s in the bun.

Arrange the buns on a platter and fill them with the hot dogs and warm sauerkraut. Drizzle with Thousand Island Dressing. Serve immediately with cole slaw, pickles and chips.


Polish Boy: Kielbasa with cole slaw, French fries and bbq sauce

Cleveland’s own Polish Boy is a hand held meal. Kielbasa, cole slaw and French fries slathered in barbecue sauce on a hefty bun makes this a sandwich for hearty appetites. Make it your way with cole slaw either purchased or homemade and add your favorite brand of fries and barbecue sauce.

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs beef kielbasa
Frozen French fries, cooked according to package directions
Crispy Cole Slaw from Heinen’s To Go Salad Station
Stubb’s barbecue sauce or barbecue sauce of choice
4 Orlando Steak, Brat and Sausage Rolls
Heat a grill to high heat.
Cook and grill the sausage as directed in Hot Dogs 101.

Preparation

Pull some of the bread from the inside of the rolls to make more space for the sausage and fillings. Open up the rolls and warm them inside down on the grill for 30 seconds.

Lay the sausage in the buns and top them with the cole slaw, French fries and a generous splash of barbecue sauce. Serve immediately.


Beer Poached Brats with Bacony Sauerkraut and Homemade Relish

Sauerkraut and bacon rounds out these simple but delicious bratwurst sandwiches and the Homemade Relish adds tart, sweet and savory notes.

Ingredients

1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cans beer of your choice
One 32 oz. jar sauerkraut, drained
1 1/2 lbs bratwurst of your choice
4 Orlando Steak, Brat and Sausage Rolls

Relish:
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup sweet relish
2 tablespoons mustard

Preparation

For Brats:

Heat a grill to high heat.

Place a disposable aluminum roaster pan on the grill and add the bacon, stirring occasionally until cooked but not crisped. Stir in the onions and once soft, about 15 minutes, add the beer and sauerkraut to the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer.

Add the brats to the sauerkraut and warm them in the simmering liquid, about 10 minutes. Transfer the brats to the grill and crisp them up for about 2 minutes per side.

Pull some of the bread from the inside of the buns to make room for the meat and toppings. Lay the buns on the grill, open side down to warm them and brown them slightly, about 30 seconds.

For Relish:

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve with hot dogs, sausage or bratwurst. Refrigerate if not using right away. Can be made up to one day ahead.

Lay the brats in the warm buns and top with Homemade Relish and bacony sauerkraut.

Carla Snyder
Posted by: Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes. Look for Carla on Facebook, Twitter (carlacooks), Pinterest and at ravenouskitchen.com where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.

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