Let's talk about hot dogs because why wouldn't we? After this week, I'm convinced I don't eat them enough. They are darn delicious. Even your average ballpark dog with mustard and ketchup is a splendid thing. But this hot dog, well, it took everything I know and love about hot dogs and knocked it out of the park. Okay, enough with the baseball references. What I am saying is this hot dog was an extraordinary flavor bomb. First and foremost, it was made with Tender Belly Franks, which are actually all pork, and truly the best hot dog I have ever had the pleasure of eating. In Boulder, I know you can find them at Alfalfa's, Cured, and Lucky's Market. Any all beef hot dog will work as well but if you can get your hands on these, count yourself lucky.
What else made these awesome was a quick and easy homemade sweet and spicy pickled relish and buns from scratch. I know buns from scratch may sound intimidating but if you have an extra hour, you can whip them up quick. You can't compare fresh baked buns to store bought. There is simply no contest. Home baked bread wins every time. If you don't have the time, not to worry, hot dog buns are pretty tasty anyway. The relish though only takes about twenty minutes to make and is a really lovely addition to any hot dog. Quick pickled carrots and jalapenos with sweet relish give you that right amount of zip with a subtle sweet. My guess is you haven't had a hot dog since this summer and I always say there is no time like the present for a hot dog. Or at least that's what I'm saying now.
Hot Dogs with Sweet and Spicy Pickled Relish
Makes enough relish and buns for 6 hot dogs
Sweet and Spicy Pickled Relish:
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic crushed
3 jalapenos chopped
2 medium sized carrots chopped
1/4 sweet relish
In a medium sauce pan over high heat, whisk apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt together. Add bay leaf, garlic, jalapenos, and carrots.
Bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and let sit for twenty minutes. Drain liquid and remove bay leaf and garlic clove.
Mix in the sweet relish with the carrots and jalapenos and serve over the top of your favorite hot dog.
Hot dog buns
Adapted from King Arthur Flour The Baker's Companion
1 cup water
1 tbs instant yeast
3 tbs honey
1 large egg
2 tbs melted butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion power
I always proof my yeast before baking to make sure it's activated. To do so combine yeast with 1/4 cup warm water (around 100 degrees) and honey. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast becomes bubbly.
Add yeast mixture, the remaining 3/4 cup water, egg, butter, both flours, salt, and onion powder and combine. Knead by hand or mixer, until you have a smooth dough. Put dough in a greased bowl (either butter or olive oil work well), cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise for an hour. Another trick to help bread rise is to turn your oven on until it heats to about 110 degrees, turn off, and let the bread rise in the oven.
Divide dough into eight pieces and on a lightly floured surface roll into a hot dog bun shaped cylinder about five inches long. Put the buns on two greased baking sheets, cover, and let rise 30-40 minutes, until they are puffy.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a rack.
Other recommended hot dog ingredients
Ketchup or BBQ sauce
Cream cheese (Sounds crazy? Just wait until you try it)