Thunder Bay – Living – Its summer, to keep the heat out of your house, many of us head to the backyard for the barbecue. Beyond the amazing flavours there is simply something special about food cooked over flame.
The Hotdog – a Favourite Year Round Enhanced over the Grill
There is something universally appealing about a good hotdog. It evokes a sense of nostalgia, a reminder of carefree summer days spent at barbecues, ballgames, or bustling carnivals. The beauty of a hotdog lies in its deceptive simplicity and immense versatility. It provides a platform for culinary innovation that caters to all ages and taste buds. Let’s explore how to prepare hotdogs that will tickle the taste buds of both kids and adults, including a particular fan favorite – the Whistle Dog.
The secret to a great hotdog starts with sourcing high-quality ingredients. Choose all-beef franks for the best flavour and a fresh, soft bun to cradle them. The hotdogs can be prepared by boiling or grilling, with each method lending its unique touch. Boiling helps retain the juiciness and flavour, whereas grilling introduces a smoky taste and a delightful char.
The preparation of the bun is equally crucial. You can steam the buns for a soft, warm experience, or grill them for a slightly crispy texture. Applying a thin layer of butter before grilling the buns imparts a delicious richness.
When it comes to crafting hotdogs for kids, the simpler, the better. A basic hotdog dressed with quality ketchup is a sure winner among the little ones.
Another variation that’s a hit with children is the “cheese dog”. Place a slice of American cheese on the bun before setting the hotdog on it. The cheese melts from the hotdog’s warmth, creating a gooey, cheesy treat.
One can also prepare a fun and visually appealing “octo-dog”. By slicing the end of the hotdog into eight sections before cooking, the sections curl up to mimic the shape of an octopus. This whimsical presentation is always a hit among children.
For adults, we have a variety of hotdogs that showcase a myriad of flavours and textures:
- Chicago-Style Dog: An extravaganza of flavours, this hotdog is topped with yellow mustard, white onions, bright green relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt, all nestled in a poppy seed bun.
- New York-Style Dog: This is for the spice lovers. The hotdog is adorned with spicy brown mustard, sauerkraut, and an onion sauce that is sure to tantalize your tastebuds.
- Chili Dog: This heartier version includes a homemade chili topping, diced onions, and shredded cheddar cheese for a bold, savoury experience.
- Banh Mi Dog: A fusion of Vietnamese and American cuisines, this hotdog includes pickled carrots, cucumbers, jalapeno slices, fresh cilantro, and a squirt of sriracha mayo for an adventurous flavour journey.
- Whistle Dog: A delectable favourite, the Whistle Dog, consists of a hotdog split down the middle, topped with bacon, cheese, and finished with a relish of your choice. This delicious combination provides a symphony of flavours that’s hard to resist.
The art of making hotdogs lies in choosing quality ingredients and tailoring flavours and textures that cater to your guests’ preferences. From the classic ketchup-and-mustard combo to the exciting Banh Mi Dog and the irresistible Whistle Dog, there’s no limit to the imaginative hotdog creations you can serve. So, come this summer, don your apron, ignite the grill, and let the hotdog party begin!