July 4th, a Great Time for Summer Eats.
Gourmet Hot Dog Fest for the Fourth
Here are some gourmet and unique hot dog ideas for a party or anytime.
Wohlner’s Own Hot Dog with Black Onion Relish: Combine a Wohlner’s Hot Dog, which are butcher make in the store, with this fantastic Black Onion Relish recipe, and you have something which will amaze your 4th of July guests. Or, take some of this to a party and you’ll be a hit.
PepperJack Cheese Dog: Wohlner’s Own Hotdog, wrapped in a slice of Pepper Jack Cheese, and diced Grape Tomato, shredded cabbage slaw and bacon (Mr. Juice’s Cole Slaw, and crumbled cooked bacon.) Top with some coleslaw dressing and black pepper.
Ruebenesque Hot Dog: Cook a Wohlner’s Hot Dog, then while it’s still hot, wrap a slice of slice of Swiss cheese and a slice of deli Corned beef around the dog, and top with a mix of drained sauerkraut and thousand Island Dressing (2 or 3 parts sauerkraut to one part Thousand Islands Dressing. Ala Reuben Sandwiches (A dill pickle spear is optional).
Cheddar Ham and Cheese Dog: Grill a Wohlner’s Cheddar Dog, wrap a slice of deli ham around the hot cheddar dog, and spread some good Dijon or whole-grain mustard on top.
Sonoran Hot Dog: A Tucson original and brought to mind after the University of Arizona won the College World Series. Wrap bacon around a Wohlner’s Hot Dog and grill it. Set the hotdog into a bun, top with diced tomatoes, pinto beans or refried beans, diced onion (rinsed to take away of the onion burn), mustard, mayo, and finally some sliced jalapeño (fresh or jarred).
Saigon Hot Dog (a take on the famous Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich): Grill a Wohlner’s Hot Dog. Gently toast the outside of a Rotella’s Brat Bun and spread canned pate. Once the hotdog is cooked, place it in the bun and top with pickled carrots, very thinly slice cucumber, plenty of chopped cilantro (cilantro is necessary!), a tiny drizzle of fish sauce (or light soy), and a slight drizzle of Srirachi Sauce. If you like hot Asian food add some sliced Jalapeño, too).
Banh Mi Burger
On a recent visit to San Francisco I crossed another item off of my culinary bucket list, the Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich at Saigon Sandwich Shop at Eddy and Larkin in the Little Saigon area of the Tenderloin district. There’s a line out the door and down the block everyday. Yes, it was everything I expected. With that experience fresh in my mind I thought up two takes on the Banh Mi for the 4th. One is the Saigon Hot Dog, see the Gourmet Hot Dog section of today’s blog, and the other is for a Banh Mi Burger. And later we do a Banh Mi inspired Grilled Salmon Roll.
Burgers, hot dogs and salmon are not typically in Vietnamese Cuisine, but the Vietnamese borrowed heavily form the French, and we are in turn borrowing from both the French and the Vietnamese. Isn’t that quintessentially American? The melting pot.
Asian Mayo (similar to what they make at P F Changs)
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Hellman’s)
- 2 Tbls of Srirachi Sauce (with the rooster on it)
- Mix in a small bowl (cover and set aside in the refrigerator)
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (use ¼ less last if using table salt)
- 1 1/2 cups peeled and coarsely shredded carrots (from about 3 medium)
- In a sauce pan combine vinegar, sugar and salt, heat over medium heat and stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and stir in carrots.
- Let sit 40 minutes or overnight.
- Rotella Brat Buns
- 2/3 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- Pate, canned (Optional)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 medium green onions, finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon packed finely grated lime zest (from 1 medium lime)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (grate the lime before you squeeze)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of salt (or no salt since fish sauce is very salty!)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken, or ground pork, or a combo of the two, or you could even use ground beef.
- In a bowl first add all ingredients, except the meat, and mix; then add meat to the bowl and mix well with your hands to combine with the seasonings. Form ground meat into 8 small patties.
- Cook on the grill over medium to medium-high heat, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once. When using ground chicken and/r ground pork be sure to cook well done to a temperature of about 160f-165f. Remove form the grill when done and cover with foil.
- Meanwhile, toast the outside of the buns until golden and a bit crispy, then remove from the grill.
- Assemble the sandwiches by spreading Asian Mayo on the inside top side of the buns, 1 Tbls on the top inside and 1 Tbls on the inside bottom. Place two cookie patties side by side in each bun. If using the optional pate spread a little on top of each patty. Evenly divide each of the drained pickled carrot and the cilantro over the four sandwiches. Cover with the top of the bun and serve while warm.
- A lager beer or Sierra Pale Ale.
- For wine try a slightly chilled California or New Zealand (Oyster Bay) Pinot Noir, or chilled Beaujolais. Jerry says that Beaujolais are a red wine which can be served chilled because they are low in tannins. Beaujolais is a lighter bodied wine well suited to both the spices in the Banh Mi Burger and the warm weather.
Banh Mi Grilled Salmon Sandwich
For those who don’t want a burger or hot dog, or just because this sounds so delicious, we came up with a novel salmon entrée sandwich. Grilled Salmon is chunked and placed into a toasted brat bun, hoagie bun, or traditional French bread bun spread with the Asian May( see recipe for Asian Mayo above). Top the salmon with thin strips of seedless English Cucumber, pickled carrot matchsticks(recipe above), pickled radish slices, and a tiny splash of fish sauce - just as you would a regular pork or chicken Banh Mi.
Here’s what I need to work on: In Vietnamese cooking they traditionally combine fish sauce and brown sugar (or palm sugar) and brush this mixture on while the meat or fish is grilling. Very simple yet the results are stupendous! So I think the salmon should be brushed with a 50/50 mixture of fish sauce and brown sugar as it grills.
Other Food Ideas
- Grilled Salmon Roll
- Cilantro Cayenne Butter for Steak, Salmon and Corn on the Cob
- Grilled Corn Salsa with Tortilla Chips or on Pork Chops
- Watermelon Salsa — a wonderful combination of flavors
- Flat Iron Steak Tacos or Flat Iron Fajitas
- BBQ Chicken Legs
- Italian Sausage and Brat Buns
- Mango Salsa with Seared Salmon
- Asian Steak Tacos or Wraps, with Asian Cole Slaw