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5 Ways to Dress Your 'Dog

Posted by Claire | Wednesday July 11, 201223 comments

Nope, we're not talking about the latest in canine couture.  Today we start a new series on our backyard barbeque favorites! First up is my personal guilty pleasure: the good ol' hot dog.

I can see you shaking your head in shock, but it's true.  This Chick is crushing on the euphemistically-dubbed Tube Steak.  Beef frankfurters, polish kielbasa, bratwursts, and traditional European wieners--I love them all!

There are countless ways to dress your 'dog, from the usual standbys of ketchup, mustard, and relish to bacon, cheese, and crinkle-cut chips, but when I'm feeling gastronomically adventurous it's time to bust out the big guns.

In no particular order, my 5 Fave Hot Dogs at the moment:

(image credit grilling.com)

I've spent a great deal of time in North Carolina and there's only one way to order your hot dog: "all the way".  Most folks make their own homemade chili (there are entire festivals for chili cookoffs in this neck of the woods), but store-bought will do in a pinch as long as you hide the evidence.  Don't request ketchup.  Ever.

(image credit chicagonow.com)

Ah, the Windy City. Home to noteworthy architecture, great museums, and stupendous hot dogs.  I can honestly say I was a little put off by the Chicago hot dog until I finally tried it.  "Dragged through the garden" is one way of calling this melange of tomatoes, pickles, peppers, onions, mustard and relish.  Picky eaters need to get over their hangups pronto, because this is hot doggin' at its finest.

(image credit thepauperedchef.com)

It's hardly an original idea to top your 'dog with kraut, but if you're going to do it Old World-style, do it properly for goodness' sake. 

Start with a crusty European-style bun and bratwurst (kielbasa is another good choice).  Bavarian sauerkraut is slightly sweet with caraway seeds, but here's my confession: I prefer regular sauerkraut.  To take away the sourness, try sauteing your kraut with a small pat of butter to get all the flavour without the mouth-puckering vinegar.  Then it's time to whip out the fancy mustard; purists choose grainy dijons or the sweet hot mustard you'd find at a biergarten in Munich.

One of the things I miss most about living north of the 49th parallel is great Poutine.  That's why when I first heard that someone had the brilliant inspiration to combine it with a hot dog, I was instantly hooked.  Health nuts might not be fans, but that's why this is called a "guilty pleasure", n'est-ce pas?  I really want to try this on a half baguette next time.  You could go with any hot dog here, but I like kielbasa (a.k.a. polish sausage) or farmer sausage.

(image credit thismontanalife.com)

No Hot Dog Roundup is complete without an homage to the original frankfurter.  Did you realize that Frankfurters originally came from Frankfurt?  Hamburgers get their name from Hamburg and Wieners from Vienna (spelled "Wien" in German). So, there's the proof that all good eatin' comes from central Europe.

Visitors to Germany can find currywurst at any street vendor.  It's bunless and usually served with french fries dipped in curry ketchup.  The curry sauce is typically made from scratch with crushed tomatoes and seasonings into a homemade ketchup, and the wiener of choice is a frankfurter or traditional knackwurstIt's so good, it even has its own museum.

So tell me: what's your favourite way to dress your hot dog?
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on August 08, 2012  bdeyell86  2,033 said:

They all look so good!

on July 20, 2012  Tiffmorris  1,792 said:

Carolina one looks delish. As for the French-Canadian one, I love me some good poutine, but that just looks nasty.

on July 18, 2012  flower  4,433 said:

Bavarian looks good

on July 17, 2012  miss_kris  275 said:

Being part German I'm a sucker for a good dog with sauerkraut! My husband makes fun of me... lol. I pile the 'kraut on like it's going out of style. Yum-o!

on July 13, 2012  mamaluv  STAFF said:

@sirenstarlight - GUACAMOLE! Girlfriend, that's genius. I'm making that this weekend!

on July 13, 2012  sirenstarlight  7,243 said:

Curry Powder!! GENIUS!
I'm totally trying that (but with a veggie wiener)!

My hot dog staple is: Cheese, Spinach, Relish, Honey Mustard, Ketchup, and Bacon Bits.
And sometimes I add guacamole :P
Frankly, I guess I just pile everything on there :P

on July 12, 2012  Charmheart16  3,985 said:

It was not a good idea to view this so late at night. I'm now craving hotdogs! These look so good.

on July 12, 2012  annmarie  4,246 said:

mmmmm u got my mouth watering for a hot dog now. the french canadian dog look delish!

on July 12, 2012  katieg  10,672 said:

Simply but tasty mustard, relish and fresh onion.

on July 12, 2012  KatelynRose1984  20,704 said:

I've never seen a poutine hot dog before! It looks really gross, but really delicious at the same time! ha.

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