Summer Means…Hot Dogs!

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Summer means a lot of different things to different people. It can mean long days spent sitting on the balcony. It can mean fishing at the local lake. It can mean grilling some of your favorite foods.

Of course, one of those quintessential summertime foods that you should be grilling is the classic hot dog. You may be thinking, “A hot dog?!” Yes! While the hot might not get the credit it deserves, it is definitely a summer classic in the United States.

Sure, it may not have originated here in the U.S., (and we’ll let Austria and Germany spend their time arguing over who created the hot dog we know and love), but Americans definitely eat their fair share. On average, Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs per year! That’s a lot of frankfurters!

And on July 23rd, you can celebrate National Hot Dog Day! But let’s not just serve plain, ol’ hot dogs – let’s add some homemade sauces and condiments to them. Here are a few recipes to check out!

  • Coney Island Sauce: If you speak to New Yorkers, they have a definite love for Coney Island. While you picture an amusement park with lots of attractions, it’s also home to the original Nathan’s Famous – which can probably be considered the ultimate in hot dog chains. And it’s the birthplace of Coney Island Sauce. Within about 30 minutes, you can make a batch of this tasty sauce that’s savory with an underlying hint of sweetness. Load on some mustard and onions, and you have a great hot dog!
  • Michigan Sauce: Coney Island sauce may be famous, but it’s not the only sauce out there. Michigan deserves some attention, too! Michigan Sauce is another meaty topping for your hot dog, but it has a bit more spice to it. With chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and hot sauce, you can certainly dial up the heat with this recipe.
  • Chow Chow: Raise your hand if you are familiar with Chow Chow. If you raised your hand, then you might be from the South or have a love of Southern cooking because this is a very popular relish in the southern parts of the United States. While it can be added to a lot of different dishes, this relish is fabulous on a hot dog. It’s sweet and spicy and contains some great ingredients and spices.
  • Sweet Pickle Relish: Sure, you can buy sweet pickle relish at the grocery store, but why not try your hand at making your own? You’ll love how fresh this tastes – and it doesn’t have that artificial green color to it!
  • Easy White Queso: If you want to make your kids happy when you’re grilling hot dogs (and most adults, too) – then make some homemade queso to go on top of them. (It’s also delicious with the Coney Island or Michigan Sauce.) This one is creamy and delicious, and you can adjust the number of jalapenos and red pepper flakes you add to fit your tastes.
  • Golden Yellow Mustard: Some people will tell you that it’s not really a hot dog unless it has mustard on it, and, perhaps, that’s true. If you want to show off a bit, try making your own homemade Golden Yellow Mustard.
  • Homemade Ketchup: And ketchup is another favorite condiment for hot dogs – depending on who you ask. This is another recipe that allows you to show off a bit and not serve that stuff from the grocery store.
  • Caramelized Onions: If you’ve never had caramelized onions on a hot dog – try it! They are worth making!
  • Homemade Sauerkraut: Not everyone is a fan of sauerkraut, but if you are – make it at home. This fermented condiment is tangy and tasty, and you may find yourself becoming a lover if you give it a try. 

If you are a hot dog lover, you probably don’t have to be asked twice to throw some on the grill. And if you like them, but maybe don’t love them – then give some of these toppings a try! They might just make you a big fan!

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