While I'm grilling year-round, I can't help but get a little giddy as the weather turns warm and the days grow long, triggering a pseudo-official start to "grilling season." I quickly change modes from cooking for two to stocking my fridge and cupboards with sauces, rubs, and plenty of beer for the ensuing crowds.
One thing I always have on hand during summer cookouts are hot dogs, yet I rarely give them more thought than a link, bun, mustard, and ketchup. In gearing up for a fresh season, I thought it would be right to pay a little more attention to this staple of the backyard and come up with an array toppers to breath new life in the standard hot dog.
Out of the few sauces I've tried so far, this tricolor sweet pepper relish—which I got from Bon Appetit's new beautiful The Grilling Book—has been my favorite. As the name suggests, this starts with three different colored sweet bell peppers that are finely diced, quickly steeped, then boiled in white wine vinegar, sugar, mustard, and celery seeds before being bottled and chilled. The final relish is a tangy, sweet, fruity, and fresh condiment with a slight bite that livens up the homely hot dog in a way fitting for the brand new grilling season.
Have any ways you like to dress up your dogs? I'd love to hear them!
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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.