It’s a party! I was thrilled to be selected to participate in this event with Hebrew National Hot Dogs. My annual Girls Nite In with some blogging friends coming over seemed the perfect time to make a variety of hot dog toppings. I live all year for the time when the garden is in bloom and friends gather for an evening on the patio. Fire up the grill, cocktails, good food and friends. Perfect.
I’m fussy about hot dogs and Hebrew National has been my brand of choice for years; that I can pick up a large pack at Costco doesn’t hurt; definitely a win win for me when I’m in the preparation stages for a get together. Hebrew National tastes great and for more than 100 years they have adhered to the highest quality standards. Their all-beef franks contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no by-products, and no fillers. That’s their guarantee. They are made with premium cuts of 100% pure kosher beef and provide premium taste and high quality every time, for any occasion. When a brand can make that kind of a statement; I do feel assured about the quality of the product I’m using which is important for me and for my friends and family.
My first visitor of the evening. I was assured I did not have to add more hot dogs to the grill! A frequent visitor since my dog Abbie has gotten a bit too old to chase them away; their cuteness factor trumps my annoyance of them eating my flowers factor. Besides, seems my gentle nudging is working; munching on grass is fine (I’m sure our 100 degree temps this past week have contributed; it’s much nicer eating in the shade then the sun those petunias thrive in!).
Let’s get to the food!
Diagonal Dogs with a Blackberry Serrano, Jalapeno and Thai Chili Sauce
This first preparation is served with a dish of nostalgia; maybe it was receiving a cookbook with recipes for dishes featured on Mad Men which is definitely a throwback to another era. I recalled a recipe that was a cocktail party staple MANY years ago and I wanted to do something more current. Do you remember mixing grape jelly with chili sauce and throwing in some little franks? I do when I was younger and though I can’t even remember if I liked them or not, I wanted to re-create something with tastes of today as a party appetizer. I have some of the most amazing preserves combining blackberries and serrano (not quite grape jelly huh?) so I wanted to use that as my starting point and keep that heat quotient for the finished dish.
For this dish, the hot dogs were lightly grilled and then cut into diagonal slices. Those slices where then simmered in a mixture of the blackberry serrano jam, Thai Chili sauce and jalapeno peppers and then served with chopped jalapeno and cilantro for garnish. I’ve come a long way from the woman who moved to Denver 25 years ago and wouldn’t touch anything with heat haven’t I?
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An updated version of an old favorite.
- 4 Hebrew National Hot Dogs
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Jalapeno, finely chopped
- 6 oz hot pepper jelly
- 6 oz Mae Ploy Chili Sauce
- 1 Tbsp course ground mustard
- Chopped cilantro and jalapeno for garnish
- Remove 4 hot dogs from the grill as soon as the outside is slightly charred and slice into diagonal slices.
- Heat olive oil in medium skillet. Saute jalapeno on medium low heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add pepper jelly, Mae Ploy sauce and mustard to skillet and heat until melted.
- Add hot dogs slices, cover and cook on low for 20-25 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and/or chopped jalapeno; serve with cocktail picks.
Bourbon Balsamic Caramelized Onions
I knew without a doubt I wanted to make some grilled onions; they are my favorite hotdog topping. I know this might be sacrilege but I don’t do ketchup on hotdogs, or relish or regular mustard. In a pinch I’ll manage with Dijon mustard and onions but the love is increased if I can have my favorite whole grain mustard and some grilled onions. So I thought I would combine those favorites together and while I was at it…add some booze! Bourbon and mustard combined with the sweet onions just sounded so perfect and it was all this dog needed (featured photo too!). I seldom do a trial when I make something but I did this time; maybe not on purpose though! I found that caramelizing the onions first and then adding the bourbon at the end (yes with a bit of fire!) made for a less mushy end result and was far superior to the first go around. With mustard as part of the topping; nothing else was required. This was everyone’s favorite.
- 2 large sweet onions
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- Preheat oven to 350
- Put butter in bottom of roasting pan. Layer onions in roasting pan, sprinkling with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Add whole garlic cloves and bake for an additional 30 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes.
- In large saucepan combine balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and mustard.Remove the onions from the oven and add them to the sauce in the pan and heat for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the bourbon and flame if desired and cook on low for another 1-2 minutes.
- Slice buns and spread with additional whole grain mustard if desired. Put hot dogs on buns and top with a generous amount of grilled onions.
Fresh Tomato and Pepperoncini Relish
For my third topping I wanted something fresh but with tons of flavor. Tomatoes are coming into season and the little ones used for this relish were full of flavor. Adding some green onion and pepperoncini was nice but it was the jalapeno dressing that made all the difference. I did learn though that draining the relish is SO important; who really wants a mushy bun? This was easy and so good; I’ll be making it a staple at all of our outdoor barbecues.
- 1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt to season
- 10 oz grape tomatoes
- 10 oz sweet golden tomatoes
- 6-8 large pepperoncini peppers, top/stem removed and halved
- 5 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
- Combine the jalapeno, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt.
- Add the tomatoes, pepperonicini and onion pieces to a food processor and pulse 4-5 times; there should be nice size chunky pieces; you do not want to make this a smooth mixture.
- Remove from the processor and mix in a medium size bowl with the dressing.
- Allow to marinate for 1-2 hours.
- Drain thoroughly in a colander before scooping into a serving bowl.
I had plans to take photos of my friends and the party. Really I did; the best of great intentions. But get together some good friends, some great food and a terrific cocktail and it did not happen. This might give you an idea though…we had a great time!
The sweet gurgle of my little pond…
Combined with an even sweeter gaggle of friends…
Well, a good time was had by all! I love having friends that bring over dishes to die for; a couple of them have them posted on their blogs or gave me the recipe so please visit them too!
- Holly brought this amazing Mango Guacamole; I’m not normally a ‘mango’ type but this was just the perfect blend of ingredients and I loved it. I’m so glad she lives close. :)
- Cathy shared her Black Olive Tampenade; so easy and so amazingly good!
- Karen from Savoury Table made some fabulous Mango Cucumber Slaw; now she needs to get it on her blog!
- I served these Limoncello Coolers which I love but this new recipe for Lemon Drop/Vanilla Bean martinis will be there next time!
I invite you to participate in the Hebrew National Franks “Snap-and-Share” event. Photo contest participants will be entered to win a weekly grocery store gift card prize for all their summer BBQ needs. There’s also a grand prize ball game trip to New York City for two!
- Visit the Hebrew National Facebook page- http://on.fb.me/L02yEA.
- Click on ‘Snap & Share’ and LIKE the page to enter the contest.
- Start the hunt for Hebrew National!
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Hebrew National via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hebrew National.