A little blog about food with recipes, reviews, commentary, and honesty.

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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Trend Aware for 2013, Part 1: Gourmet Hot Dogs

I once read these referred to as "Haute Dogs", which made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. 

The hot dog neatly combines two of the biggest umbrella food trends of the last couple of years: junk and street. The same process has already been completed with the humble burger (have you walked down a high street recently without seeing at least one gourmet burger joint?) and is still ongoing for fried chicken. 

This trend isn't about thrown-together barbecue bangers but about using quality ingredients with an emphasis on flavour. It's about taking the pedestrian sausage to another level. And of course it opens up the opportunity for endless twee themes and ridiculous names; 'The Big Pimp' and 'The Dogfather' being two such examples. 

The new 'spin' on hot dogs is simply a high-quality sausage that isn't sourced from a tin (I've used Bavarian Frankfurters but also experiment with bratwurst, bockwurst, vegetarian, or even chorizo), bread which isn't the normal fluffed up finger roll (I used soft submarine rolls, but try continental and seeded breads too), and toppings which vary between sophisticated gourmet and calorific comfort-food. 

The range of toppings is absolutely huge and only limited by your own imagination, so you can build a hot dog to suit any taste. Except for those who dislike hot dogs. Plus it can involve as much or little cooking as you'd like; 'building' is an apt term. 

Below I've included 3 gourmet examples for you to have a butchers at, with a couple of recipes included at the end if you want to do more than open a jar or squeeze a tube. 

The Mexican

Only 6 elements: Frankfurter, submarine roll, tomato salsa, guacamole, sour cream, fresh jalapeƱos. And one that you can do without any cooking at all with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream all being readily available in squeezy tubes and jalapeƱos from a jar. If you fancy having a go at the salsa and guacamole, the recipes are available at the bottom of the page. 

The Spanish

Even simpler than before: Frankfurter, submarine roll, fried chorizo, raw diced white onion, and shavings of Manchego. Buy the chorizo ready-sliced for even less work. 

The Classic

If you haven't heard of a chilli-cheese dog then you can leave right now. The Frankfurter is topped with spicy beef chilli and a slice of Monterey Jack cheese. You can either source your chilli ready-made or follow the recipe at the bottom of the page for my ultimate beefy chilli. 

Easy Tomato Salsa

Ingredients, enough to top 4 hot dogs: 

110g/4 oz of fresh tomatoes, de-seeded and diced. 
1/2 a red onion, diced
1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely diced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped

It's called easy for a reason; simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir together, and serve! 


Ingredients, enough to top 4 hot dogs: 

2 ripe avocados; peeled, de-stoned, and the flesh mashed
2 fresh tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
2 red chillies, de-seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped 

Yet another easy one; pound together the tomatoes, chillies, onion, and coriander to a paste in a pestle and mortar or food processor. Combine with the lime juice, salt, and mashed avocado and serve straight away. 

Ultimate Beef Chilli

Ingredients, enough to top 4 hot dogs: 

250g of extra lean steak beef
1 can of chopped tomatoes in juice (400g) 
1 beef stock cube
1 white onion, diced
1 fat clove of garlic, crushed then finely chopped
1 tsp of dried crushed chillies
1 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsps of smoked paprika
1 tsp of dried oregano
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 red chilli, de-seeded and diced
Salt, to taste
2 tbsps of fresh coriander, chopped
Vegetable oil

First cook the onions in a little oil on a medium heat until soft, then add the garlic and red chilli for 1 minute. Then turn the heat up and stir in the dried ingredients; the dried chillies, cumin, paprika, and oregano. Fry together for a couple of minutes, add the mince and cook until the meat is browned. Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper, add the stock cube, and then simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce is reduced. Finish by stirring through the coriander and serve while hot. 

Trend Aware for 2013. Part 2: Chinese Steamed Buns - out on 05.01.13. 

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