Thursday, August 24, 2017

DIY Gourmet Hot Dog Bar

If you have been following my posts for a while, by now you know I love hosting people in our home. For me it is just as much about the conversation + community as it is the food... but I am also a firm believer that it never hurts to turn some simple items into a plate of lovingly prepared and thoughtfully styled food.

So, that leads me to the delicious platter of goodness pictured above. Have hot dogs ever looked so drool-worthy?! I know they are not the best thing in the world to eat, but every once in a while I think you just gotta splurge. Hot dogs are definitely splurge-worthy. And if you're going to eat them you need to fully commit... go all in... and have no regrets. So why not invite a few friends over, set up a beautiful display of all your favorite fixins'the classics and maybe a few unique onesand let people DIY their own gourmet dogs while you watch some football.

Major plus of this setup: the work on your end is minimalyou can do all of the prep ahead of time so you can actually enjoy the event instead of sweating in the kitchen while your guests party in the other room.

I have listed out four hot dog concoctions and accompanying ingredients below. I think it helps to narrow in on a few ideas so you can organize on your end and also give your guests some culinary direction if they need it. DIY signage is of course always an option, too. Some may think it is over the top but I am in full support of the idea. ; )

Side note: I have homemade and alternate options listed below. If you do not have the time / do not want to add extra steps reference the ** below for some easy hacks!

Pictured above:
Tex-Mex Dog: black bean puree, fresh corn salsa, monterey jack, tortilla strips
The Classic: diced onion, white cheddar, pickle relish, sliced pickles, mustard
Southern Comfort: raspberry-chipotle jam, pimento cheese, bacon crumbles, jalapenos
BBQ Crunch: cole slaw, bbq sauce, crumbled bbq chips

What You Will Need:
hot dogs (we love Oscar Mayer Angus Selects Beef Franks)
white cheddar, shredded
monterey jack, shredded
pimento cheese (we love Palmetto brand)
lightly salted tortilla strips (usually found by the salad dressing)
pickle relish
zesty pickle spears, sliced into strips
1 small white onion, diced
raspberry-chipotle jam (we love this kind, but plain raspberry will also do)
bacon, cooked in advance & crumbled
jalapenos, sliced
bbq sauce
bbq chips, crumbled
ketchup (just in case people want the basics)
black bean puree (see below)
corn salsa (see below)
sweet and spicy slaw (see below)

For the black bean puree (double if needed):
1 can black beans
½ tsp chili powder, cumin, garlic powder
Directions: rinse and drain, pour into a food processor, add spices and a little bit of water and pulse until smooth.
**A can of refried black beans would work just as great as long as they are thick enough.

For the corn salsa (double if needed):

2 ears of sweet corn, kernels cut off
½ cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 large lime, juiced
½ tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper
Directions: mix all together, let sit in refirgerator for at least an hour.
**You can buy pre-made pico de gallo and add in the corngreat shortcut that will still taste fresh.

For the slaw (this can also serve as a side dish if you want to double-up):
1 - 16oz package tri-color cole slaw 
½ cup red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup (reduced-fat) mayonnaise
¼ cup yellow mustard
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp each: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

Directions: pour slaw & onions into large mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, add to slaw and stir until blended. Let refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
**You can buy pre-made slaw from the deli section and add in the spices & red onion to take the flavor up a notch.

Place all of your toppings in separate bowls around the table, grill up some dogs as guests arrive (or you can even do this ahead of time and keep them in the oven on "warm" setting) and let everyone get after it! This hot dog bar will be a hit, trust me.