We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave. The temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising. So get out those grills because it’s definitely BBQ weather. July is National Hot Dog Month and absolutely anybody can grill hot dogs! They’re an easy and inexpensive way to serve a crowd. Just make sure you have classic toppings – ketchup, mustard, relish – and a few creative ones, such as this tropical topping, to please everyone.
Hot dogs lovers rave about true Chicago-style hot dogs with that perfect combination of savory, sweet, salty and spicy that comes from the savory all-beef hot dogs, super bright green sweet relish, the perfect mild deli pickle and the spicy sport peppers. Taking your hot dog to the tropics doesn’t involve those traditional Chicago-style dog ingredients but it captures the same addicting combination of flavors. And you don’t have to search all over town for special Chicago ingredients. Simply chop a fresh pineapple and a few other fresh, easy-to-find items and you’ve got one tasty trip to the tropics for your hot dog! If you think pineapple doesn’t belong on a hot dog, remember back when we first thought pineapple and ham on pizza was a bad idea? This hot dog will be love at first bite!
The ingredients needed are available at all local grocery stores such as Safeway and Zanotto’s. And these days it’s always a good idea to have a few vegetarian hot dogs on hand for friends who don’t eat meat. Both local Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market sell excellent no-meat hot dogs.To make your hot dog BBQ really easy, just pick up some chips, drinks, and maybe some cookies for dessert. Or try Spicy Dilly Beans, No-Bake Baked Beans, Red Potato Salad or Balsamic Pasta Salad as side dishes. Your family and friends will love it!
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (readily available in the ethnic foods aisle of grocery stores)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 & 1/2 cups small-dice fresh pineapple
1/2 cup Peppadew peppers, finely chopped (available in the pickle aisle of grocery stores, either hot or mild – see the slideshow on the left for a photo)
1/2 cup finely-chopped purple onion
1/2 cup finely-chopped deli-style pickle (purchase true deli-style pickles that have a mild flavor unlike regular dill pickles – see the slideshow on the left for a photo)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 hot dog buns
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
8 all-beef hot dogs
- In a bowl, stir the rice vinegar, ketchup, cayenne and salt until the salt dissolves. Whisk in the honey.
- Add the pineapple, peppers, onion, pickle and cilantro. Toss to combine and store in the fridge until ready to serve. (This can be made up to one day ahead.)
- When ready to serve, heat the charcoals, or the heating element on a gas grill, to medium-high heat.
- While they are heating, lightly spread the softened butter on the insides of all buns.
- When the grill is ready, place the hot dogs directly on the grill and cook, turning frequently, until all sides are browned and just starting to get a little crisp on the ends. Remove from grill.
- Place the buttered buns, buttered side down, directly on the grill and toast for a couple of minutes just until lightly browned. Remove from grill.
- Serve grilled hot dogs and buns with the tropical pineapple relish. Make sure to have mustard available as well as most people will insist on putting mustard on their dogs. Serve with some of the side dishes mentioned above or create your own for a fun, easy and delicious backyard BBQ.
For other great hot dog recipes, try:
- Super Dogs
- Pretzel Dogs
- Bacon Burger Dogs
Happy National Hot Dog Month!
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