New Ways to Top Your Hot Dogs This Summer

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 MustardPickled 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 SauceSweet 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 KetchupScallion 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 MayoGrilled Tomatoes, and Grilled Corn.

 

Courtesy of epicurious

Cayenne Corn Bread

For your next summer BBQ change things up by adding a kick to your favorite corn bread. This simple recipe turns out great every-time and you can add your very own AeroGarden grown Cayenne peppers to make it unique.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup (or more) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) lightly packed grated cheddar cheese

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush cast-iron corn stick molds with vegetable oil and place in oven. Mix yellow cornmeal, unbleached flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper in large bowl. Whisk 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, butter and egg in small bowl. Mix into dry ingredients. Stir in grated cheddar cheese. Add more buttermilk if necessary to thin to just pourable consistency. Fill corn stick molds with batter. Bake corn sticks until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Using tip of small sharp knife, gently lift corn sticks from molds. Serve warm.

 Recipe from: Epicurious

Texas Caviar

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This fresh and spicy dip is great for any summertime BBQ or picnic. It’s simple, quick, and almost all the ingredients you can grow in your AeroGarden. So next time someone asks you to bring a side dish to their party, you don’t even need to think twice, this Texas Caviar will have everyone asking for more.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 16-oz cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed of all juice
  • 2 16-oz cans corn, drained
  • 1 small jar chopped pimentos, juice included
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, green part only
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 fresh jalapeño chiles, chopped
  • 1 cup diced cherry tomatos
  • 2 cups vinaigrette
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 avocado, diced

PREPARATION

  1. In a large bowl, stir all ingredients very well. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight, in a sealed or covered container. Remember the longer it sits, the better it gets!
  2. Serve with old-fashioned saltine crackers or with corn tortilla chips.

Recipe From:  Epicurious