Monday, June 29, 2009

Gourmet Hot Dogs

Barbeque season is officially here and you know what that means. It's grill time! And whether you're using a bbq out on the patio or a simple grill pan over the stove top, there's a craze that's beginning to sizzle out there that you don't want to miss out on- and that's gourmet hot dogs.

A few weeks ago, The Province published an article on the hog dog showdown happening in Vancouver this summer. Creative new versions of the hot dog are battling it out for street side supremacy. At the Tandoori Tikka Dog stand which opened recently on West Cordova Street, you can get a grilled chicken or kosher beef sausage smothered with onions fried in butter and a homemade tandoori paste. Meanwhile, at Japa Dog's crowd-drawing hot dog stand at Burrard and Smithe (and at Burrard and Pender) you can sample three Japanese-twisted varieties such as the Terimayo, smothered in teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, seaweed, and fried onions.

I love the idea of Japanese-inspired hot dog toppings. And, while I promised myself that I'd seek out one of Japa Dog's stands next time I was in Vancouver, I may have completely forgotten about it had it not been for the latest issue of Bon Appetit. That's right, the BBQ Issue with its tasty-looking, two-page Around the World in 80 Dogs spread all on hot dogs.

I tried the recipe for Cheddar Dogs with Braised Leeks and Apples and it left me licking my chops for more. These hot dogs were deliciously tasty and lots of fun to both make and eat.

Are you looking for a non-alcoholic alternative? Replace the apple cider with non-alcoholic cider or even apple cider vinegar and this recipe will still taste great.

Cheddar Dogs with Braised Leeks and Apples (serves 6)

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 apple, peeled, cored, diced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
Pinch of ground allspice
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups hard apple cider
6 grilled hot dog buns or brioche-style oblong rolls
Dijon mustard
6 grilled hot dogs (all beef or veggie dogs)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and apple. Cover; cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix in caraway and allspice; season with coarse salt and pepper. Add cider and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, until most of liquid is cooked away, about 16 minutes.

Arrange buns or rolls on plates. Spread each with mustard and mayonnaise, then top with grilled hot dogs. Sprinkle dogs with cheese and top with leek mixture.


Anonymous said...

Yum! I will have to try that this week

Melody Wey said...

I made these hot dogs twice this week, once using hard apple cider and once using apple cider vinegar. Using apple vinegar has a tasty punch which I recommend. Hope you do try these out.