I am not a big fan of hot dogs. I am sure you can understand why. But, we picked up a package at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago. I wasn’t as apprehensive about getting them there: they are 100% beef and made at a small, family owned farm that’s about 15 miles away. Of course, they had ones with cheese, and J just couldn’t resist. Usually J eats them and I pass, but, in the spirit of 4th of July, this time I figured I’d partake. But that meant I’d have to take it up a notch.
I love this because not only does it make the hot dog feel very grown up, it uses a bunch of my veggie share. Instead of caramelized onions, that mixture is made up of jalapeño peppers, onions, and fennel. The fennel adds a really great flavor. And I made a slaw of sorts with 2 different kinds of beets and carrots to add a crispy element.
I had some halumi cheese on hand, so I used that instead of regular cheese. Halumi cheese originates from Cyprus, and it has a salty taste and chewy texture. It gets soft after a couple minutes of heat and tastes amazing, even if just eaten on its own.
I was tempted to add bacon, but resisted the urge, although I know that everything tastes better with it. Next time.
Grown Up Hot Dogs
1 small chiogga beet
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
Julienne the carrots and beets. In a small bowl, toss vegetables with lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
½ onion, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 small fennel, cut into 2 inch slices
½ cup white cooking wine
In a small pan, sauté the onion and jalapeño pepper until brown. Add the fennel to the pan and stir. Add wine and cook together for a few minutes until the fennel has caramelized.
¼ cup slaw
½ cup caramelized fennel mixture
3-4 hot dogs
3-4 hot dog buns
½ block Halumi cheese
Grill the hot dogs on the grill. Cut the Halumi cheese block into thin slices, and cook at medium heat for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Lay the cheese in the bun, top with hot dog, caramelized fennel mixture, and slaw.
– food on,