Corn Dogs via flickr by By marymactavish.
These recipes for hot dogs have a twist, drawing special flavors and ingredients from other food cultures, like Vietnam and Portugal. There’s also one for a good old American corn dog. All three are perfect for Labor Day—or any time.
The Banh Mi Dog, the Cataplana Dog and the Iowa State Fair Corn Dog were developed by Chef Renee Marton:
Each recipe serves eight, one hot dog per person.
1. The Banh Mi Dog
This dog draws inspiration from the popular Vietnamese sandwich.
Eight 8 inch baguettes—split, toasted and buttered
8 hot dogs split lengthwise and grilled, flat side down
8 pieces country style pate—same length as the dog, and the same “height” (you can use two pieces, if necessary), not ice cold.
6 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, sliced into half moons and “pickled” in 1½ cups vinegar (light colored), 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 tablespoon salt for 30 minutes. Drain cucumbers and squeeze dry.
6 sprigs of cilantro leaves.
4 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced and rinsed briefly under cold water, then dried.
½ cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s regular, or homemade) mixed with 3 teaspoons of hot sauce, ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes and 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Place each hot dog half on each half of baguette. Then place a strip of pate on each piece of hot dog. Layer the cucumbers, shallots and cilantro over the meats, and spoon on the mayo/mustard/ hot sauce mixture as evenly as you can covering the entire hot dog.
Press the whole sandwich together and wrap tightly in plastic and foil for 20 minutes. Put a weight on it like a heavy book for the twenty minutes.
TO DRINK: Cold beer or champagne.
2. The Cataplana Dog
Clams and pork go together in classic Portuguese cooking—here’s a hot dog tribute to that tradition.
Eight traditional hot dog buns (the squared off kind, if possible), split, toasted and brushed with olive oil.
8 hot dogs, each wrapped in a strip of bacon, grilled or broiled until bacon is crisp.
48 small clams, cleaned, steamed open and removed from shells
3 small onions, 3 ribs of celery and 3 small carrots- all peeled, cut into small pieces and sautéed in olive oil with 3 large cloves of diced garlic and 1 sprig of rosemary. Vegetables should be cooked until soft; remove rosemary.
Sauce: roasted red peppers bottled in oil, drained (and any black skin removed) and mixed in the food processor with 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, 2 cloves garlic and enough olive oil to make a paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Into each bun, place some onion mixture, 6 clams, the bacon wrapped dog, and then the sauce. Press together, wrap in plastic and foil, and leave for 20 minutes before unwrapping. Put a weight on this for 20 minutes.
TO DRINK: Vinho Verde, or a Gin Fizz
3. Iowa State Fair Corn Dogs
Adapted by Renee Marton from Andrea Albin
When John Willoughby, former Gourmet magazine editor, caught sight of these freshly fried corn dogs, he exclaimed, “Just like the Iowa State Fair!” When he bit into one, he acknowledged that it was even better. Grilling the hot dogs first lends them a deeper, smokier flavor, and the buttermilk-cornmeal coating fries up to a thick, fluffy shell—delicious with mustard or ketchup and a frosty root beer on the side.
8 wooden or metal skewers
8 hot dogs
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
About 8 cups vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
Oil grill pan, heat until smoking and grill hot dogs, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly, then insert a wooden stick into each hot dog, lengthwise.
Put 3 tablespoons flour on another plate and roll hot dogs in flour to coat, shaking off excess.
Heat enough oil in a tall pot (narrow rather than wide) so that the hot dogs can be submerged in the oil, with room to spare for bubbling over, while you hold the stick. The temperature should be 350°F all the time. (Use a thermometer.) So fry one hot dog at a time. If you immerse several at the same time, the oil temperature will decrease, and greasy hot dogs will result.
Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal, remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, cayenne, and 3/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk.
Transfer some of batter to a tall glass, filling it almost to the top.
Working in batches of 2 or 3, dip hot dogs, one at a time, into glass of batter, to coat them (add more batter to glass when necessary). When oil reaches 350F, fry the battered hot dogs, turning occasionally, until batter is cooked through and golden-brown all over, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer corn dogs to a rack with paper towels underneath to drain.
Return the oil to 350°F; refill glass with batter between batches. Continue as above.
Serve with ketchup and yellow mustard.
These hot dogs should be eaten right away, and not wrapped tightly, or they will get soggy.
TO DRINK: Beer.