Video caption: For the first of two Battle of the Bulldogs of the 2017 season, try this Chili Crunch Dogs recipe for your next gathering or tailgate.
Creative hot dog toppings that put ketchup and mustard to shame
Ketchup and mustard are the all-time classic hot dog toppings, but even your old favorites can become routine after a summer of grilling.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the bun. Use your imagination at your next cookout or tailgate because there are plenty of creative ways to dress up your beef franks or bratwurst. All you need to do is take a trip outside the condiments aisle.
Impress your friends by trying a few of these hot dog toppings at your tailgate before UGA’s game against Samford University — the first of two Battle of the Bulldogs in 2017.
1. Even more meat
Bacon can elevate almost any dish. But have you considered wrapping an entire hot dog with it? Top your bacon-wrapped hot dogs with avocado and wrap them in a flour tortilla. When it comes to adding more meat to your frankfurter, don’t stop at bacon. Make a pass through the lunch meat section and pick up ham to make Cuban sandwich-inspired dogs or pastrami for Reuben-inspired ones.
If you’re a fan of spicy food, try adding jalapeno peppers to your hot dog repertoire. Chop peppers and then slit your hot dogs lengthwise. Stuff them with as many peppers as they’ll hold. You’ll have to be careful when you grill them to keep the peppers from falling out, but they’re a sure win for lovers of spicy foods. Mix jalapenos into your favorite chili for chili dogs or serve them on hot dogs topped with caramelized onions and cream cheese. If you like peppers — but not the spicy kind — try your hand at an old-fashioned Chicago sausage and peppers recipe.
3. Make your own condiments
Go beyond the usual mustard and ketchup with a twist on your condiment selection. Make your own BBQ sauce using Dr. Pepper, brown sugar, onions, garlic and a few other ingredients. Sriracha, a hot sauce made of chili pepper paste, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt, is popular in Asian cuisine but can jazz up a hot dog, too. Try Sriracha with a slaw made of purple and savory cabbage, carrots and ginger. Or re-create the traditional German street food currywurst by mixing ketchup with curry and onion powder, paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper.
Add vitamin C to your grilling regimen by incorporating fruit as a topping for your hot dogs. Peach or mango salsa make for light and refreshing garnishes at cookouts that often are filled with heavier foods such as macaroni and cheese and potato salad. And you can always grill some pineapple and dress your hot dogs up Hawaiian style.
Make a breakfast burrito dog by lining the bun with American cheese and then top it with scrambled eggs, chives and bacon. Add Sriracha sauce for added kick. You also can go for a grilled cheese take on hot dogs. Pre-toast the bun on the grill and brush it with garlic powder mixed in melted butter. Add the cooked hot dog and shredded cheddar and pepper jack. Then turn the heat down to medium until the cheese melts. Chili cheese dogs are a tried and true favorite, but topping them with corn chips adds crunch. Or just go the full mile and pile a few scoops of mac and cheese on top.
6. Take it international
Whip up corn and lime salsa to top your hot dogs or tortilla chips. Or pick up a few avocados and make guacamole. Top the hot dog with the guac, salsa and a sprinkling of cheese and then wrap it in a soft tortilla for a Latin flair. For football-style fusion eats, try the hot dog version of a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich. Shred cucumber, a carrot and radish, and add chopped mint, scallions and cilantro. Toss the mixture with fish sauce and lime juice, and pile it onto your hot dog for another pregame or postgame treat.