Hot dogs are a popular summer BBQ item. But this summer, instead of the same old boring toppings, prepare a fun hot dog bar with all the essentials and some fun and creative choices.
Ideas for Toppings
- Keep the classics: You have to keep the classic hot dog toppings. Relish, mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut, and onions are always favorite stand bys, so make sure you have those in case your guests don’t want to get creative.
- Update the classics: There are fun ways to update classic toppings. For example, you can add some jalapeno to ketchup for a spicier version or you can make a homemade cucumber relish instead of the usual store bought pickle relish.
- Go global: A great way to add some creativity to your hot dogs is to put a global spin on them. Hummus makes a tasty Mediterranean style dog or salsa or guacamole with a hint of chile make a fun Mexican dog. Homemade chutney’s also work well or even tomato sauce topped with shredded mozzarella for an Italian dog. Add some tzatziki sauce, chopped olives, and feta cheese for a Greek style dog or some wasabi mayonnaise for an Asian inspired treat. Have fun and be creative with the toppings and encourage guests to mix and match to find their own favorite hot dog.
- Think outside the box: Some other fun and creative toppings are right under your nose but you may not even think about it. For example, crushed potato chips make a fun topping and add a little extra crunch. Diced pineapple or even honey make for an interesting sweet twist. Garlic sauce, diced crisped bacon, BBQ sauce, tartar sauce, and a variety of cheeses all also make perfect topping choices. A great way to get ideas is to take a look in your refrigerator and pantry and use what you have on hand.
Spicy Cucumber Relish Recipe
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 4 large cucumbers, peeled and finely diced
- 1 red bell peppers, finely diced
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 5 jalapeno peppers, finely minced
- 1/4 cup salt
- 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon dill seed
- Combine cucumbers, red bell peppers, onions, celery, and jalapeno peppers in a large bowl; add salt and fill bowl with cold water. Let vegetables soak for 3 to 4 hours then drain well
- Mix sugar with vinegar, celery seeds, and dill seeds in a pot and bring to a boil and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until sugar has dissolved
- Add vegetables and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 20 minutes. Let vegetables cool for a few minutes then spoon into jars and chill until ready to use
Greek Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
Makes 4 servings
- 8 ounces Greek style yogurt
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh dill to taste, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
Garlic and Pepper Ketchup Recipe
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup ketchup
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Hot pepper sauce to taste
- Sauté garlic in butter until just golden; stir garlic into ketchup and season to taste with red pepper and hot sauce