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The Simple Hot Dog

Last week we listed a few very simple hot dog recipes you could use for your tailgate. The premise was that you do not always need to be fancy at your party. Sometimes you just need simple food, usually served in bulk.

So here is another simple thing to serve. The All-American hot dog.

Super simple. We are not talking about sausages or other tubed meat products. Just a simple hot dog you buy in the pack from your local grocery store.

Rather than a specific recipe, let’s talk about the ways to enhance your “dog” experience.

The Dog itself. The cheapest you can get in the store will work. Really! But it may be best to spend a couple cents more for a better name brand. Nathan’s Beef Franks, Sabrett Skinless Beef Frankfurters, Ball Park Deli Style Beef Franks, Applegate Farms Organic Beef Hot Dog (yes, really), Boar’s Head, Hebrew National, Ball Park Angus Beef Franks, and Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Franks are all rated well and taste damn good. Living in Maryland I have a soft spot for Esskay Orioles Beef Franks. I am sure there is a local choice near you that invoke similar passions.

Bun. This is where you should NOT go for the simple grocery store choice. They suck. Always will suck. Pay more for the better bread and you will be happy. Arnold/Orowheat, Trader Joe’s brand Milton’s, Pepperidge Farm’s “Top Split” , Sunbeam, and Martin’s Potato Buns are some great choices. I am a sucker for a potato roll myself.

Condiments. This is where you will get some fights. Some people love ketchup on their dogs. Others say it is sacrilege. I like mustard AND ketchup. But then again sometimes I want it Chicago style and drug through a garden. Often I want chili. Or cheese, or relish. So splurge and get a few of everything. Let the party goer decide. If you are making something like chili or homemade, that may be the only thing I might poll my guests on ahead of time.

Every culture in the world enjoys some kind of meat in tube form. So why not enjoy the American kind. And did I mention it is easy to make?

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