Here’s how to make the best hot dog toppings happen:
1. Spice up classic condiments
Old Bay Mayo: Stir 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning into 1/2 cup mayonnaise; adjust to taste.
Harissa Ketchup: Stir 1 tsp. harissa paste into 1/2 cup ketchup; adjust to taste.
Maple Mustard: Stir 1/4 cup maple syrup into 1/4 cup Dijon mustard; adjust to taste.
Chipotle BBQ Sauce: De-seed and mince 1 canned chipotle in adobo, stir into 1/2 cup barbecue sauce; adjust to taste.
2. Grill your toppings
Onions: Slice 2 red or yellow (or a mix of both) medium onions into thick rounds and grill until charred and soft.
Peppers: Quarter 2 peppers (a mix of bell and/or poblano) and remove seeds. Grill until charred and softened, then thinly slice.
Corn: Grill 2 husked ears of corn until charred, then slice kernels off.
Tomatoes: Thread 1 pint cherry tomatoes on skewers (or use a grill basket) and grill until charred and softened.
3. Add crunch with pickles
Make your own quick pickles—or just jazz up the store-bought kind.
Pickled Carrots: Shave 2 medium carrots into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler and combine with 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1 tsp. toasted cumin seeds in a medium bowl. Let sit at least 10 minutes and strain before serving.
Pickled Cabbage: Place 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage in a large heatproof container or bowl. Toast 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds in a small pot over medium heat, then add 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and 1 Tbsp. salt and bring to a boil. Pour over cabbage and let sit at least 10 minutes. Strain before serving.
Dill Pickle Relish: Combine 1 cup diced bread and butter pickles and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill.
Scallion Kimchi: Combine 1/2 cup thinly sliced kimchi and 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions.
4. Try a Combo
Of course, you can mix and match these toppings any way you like. But here are the combos we couldn’t stop eating in the Epi Test Kitchen.
“The German”: For a bratwurst-inspired dog, layer on Maple Mustard, Pickled Cabbage, and Grilled Onions.
“The Sweet + Smoky”: For a dog that hits all the spicy sweet and smoky spots of your favorite backyard barbecue, layer on Chipotle BBQ Sauce, Sweet Dill Pickle Relish, and Grilled Corn.
“The Garden Dog”: Old Bay Mayo provides a creamy base for tart Pickled Carrots and smoky Grilled Peppers.
“The Fire Starter”: If spice and brine are your beats, mix together Harissa Ketchup, Scallion Kimchi, and Grilled Peppers.
“The Southern Belle”: For a combo that’s even better than your favorite summer succotash, top your dog with Old Bay Mayo, Grilled Tomatoes, and Grilled Corn.
Courtesy of epicurious