These Hot Dogs Will Make You Say “Hot Damn”

Dress up your dogs

Summer isn’t over.

Hot dogs have their day in the spotlight on July 4 when competitive eaters assemble to shove soggy ones down their throat. And then we’re all too sick to even glance at a sausage, I mean, at least until Labor Day. This even goes for us that aren't Joey Chestnut, especially if you participated in your own low-key competition by circulating all those backyard BBQs. But, take a deep breath and get your dunk cups ready because hot dog season isn’t over yet.

July 23 is National Hot Dog Day, in which it is our duty to seek out a hot dog so first-rate it must be celebrated (and Instagram-worthy). New York City’s scent comes alive in the summer months when boiled hotdogs radiate on midtown blocks. But, the options are limited. So, if you’re craving more than the corner stand, we’re here to help.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Bennett

Green Bliss Veggie Dog

Vegetarian? We got you. This veggie hot dog has a little spicy kick to it, so it’s anything but bland. Don’t let the haters tell you just because you have a limiting dietary restriction, you’re adverse to flavor.

Ingredients:

For the green sauce (yields about 1 cup):

1 avocado, ripe and pitted

1 small jalapeno, chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ cup parsley, loosely packed

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

Salt and pepper

For the hot dog:

1 vegetarian hot dog

1 hot dog bun

3 sprigs of broccoli rabe

1 clove garlic

½ zucchini, cubed

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Directions:

To assemble the green condiment sauce, add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Chop until smooth.

Remove the stems of the broccoli rabe and wash the leaves in a colander. Heat olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat in a skillet until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini and broccoli rabe. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sautée until soft, about 10 minutes.

Prepare hot dog according to package directions. If there aren’t any, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add hot dog and let boil for 4 minutes, or until done.

To assemble, place cooked hot dog in the bun and top with sautéed broccoli rabe, zucchini, and the green sauce.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Bennett

Bundled Italian Hot Dog

For the carnivore who may not be 100 percent Italian by genetics but is 100 percent Italian by the stomach, this proscuitto-wrapped hot dog makes you wonder why everything must be wrapped in bacon. Enjoy onions and peppers on the bun.

Ingredients:

1 hot dog

1 hot dog bun

Prosciutto

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

½ bell pepper, chopped

¼ onion, sliced into half moons

Salt and pepper

Mozzarella

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap hot dog in a slice of prosciutto and place on a tin foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, onions, and bell pepper until onions are translucent and the pepper is soft.

To assemble, place a heap of onions and peppers in the hot dog bun. Lay the prosciutto-wrapped hot dog on top. Lay slices of mozzerella on top and heat under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, or until melted.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Bennett

Jewish Deli Dog

This hot dog is far from simple even though it’s quickly assembled. The challah bun adds a little something sweet and chewy, refusing to be ignored like any old bun. If you can’t find challah buns at your store, buy a loaf and get creative by carving your own pocket of plush dough for a hot dog to rest in.

Ingredients:

1 kosher hot dog

1 challah bread roll

Sliced dill pickle

¼ red onion, sliced into half moons

3 tomato wedges

Ketchup and mustard

Directions:

Cook hot dog as per the package's directions.

To assemble, place cooked hot dog in the challah roll and top with pickle, red onion, tomato, ketchup, and mustard.