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Beyond the Bun: 3 Hot Dog Recipes for National Hot Dog Day

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Hot dogs are one of summer's unofficially official foods, so it's no surprise that National Hot Dog Day—arguably among the best days of the year—falls in July. Popping up at both backyard barbecues and beach concession stands, hot dogs are an indispensable part of the season. And Oscar Mayer Premium Jumbo Beef Franks, made with 100% Angus beef, have the quality ingredients and robust flavor to make your hot dogs feel all grown up.

But there's more you can do with these salty, savory, snappy links than just shove them into a bun. Hot dogs this good shouldn't be typecast like that! So we've been experimenting with fun, creative ways to use hot dogs in our cooking, and these three new recipes prove that even today's hottest food trends are better with hot dogs.

Toast is reimagined with garlicky white beans and seared hot dog slices instead of avocado. Empanadas—part of the current handheld-food craze—get a flavor boost when you incorporate hot dog into the filling, and cilantro into the crust. Finally, try your hand at a PHOt Dog—that is, pho served with tasty Oscar Mayer Premium Jumbo Beef Franks instead of thinly sliced raw beef. After this, you may never look at hot dogs the same way again.

Garlicky Cannellini Bean and Hot Dog Toast

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Dressed-up toast in various forms has become popular for good reason: Pile your favorite ingredients atop a simple piece of bread, and you have a healthful, flavorful, filling meal that feels a little fancy. Here, the toast is topped with lightly mashed, garlic-infused cannellini or other white beans and finished off with slices of seared hot dog. For a variation, serve this on crackers or baguette slices to make party-worthy canapés.

Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnishing if desired
3 Oscar Mayer Premium Jumbo Beef Franks, thinly sliced on a bias
2 slices country or sandwich bread, approximately 1/2 inch thick

Directions

1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute (be careful not to burn it). Add beans and salt and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and mash partially. Stir in parsley and set aside.

2. Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in another medium skillet until shimmering. Add hot dog slices and cook for about 5 minutes, flipping with tongs halfway through, until nicely seared and browned on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside.

3. Lightly brush bread with more olive oil and toast to desired level of doneness. Top with bean mash and hot dog slices. Garnish with additional chopped parsley, if desired. Serve.

Hot Dog and Cotija Empanadas

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This empanada dough might not be traditional, but it's hard to argue with its forgiving nature—plus, it comes together in just about five minutes. The hot dogs meld perfectly with black beans and Cotija cheese, for a flavor explosion in every bite.

Active time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Yield: 14 to 16 empanadas (serves 5 people as an appetizer)

Special Equipment
Food processor, rolling pin

Ingredients

For the Cream Cheese Dough:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Hot Dog Empanada Filling:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Dash of cayenne
2 Oscar Mayer Premium Jumbo Beef Franks, halved lengthwise, then sliced into semicircles
2 ounces (1/2 cup) Cotija cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

To Assemble:
1 egg, beaten

Directions

1. For the Cream Cheese Dough: Process butter, cream cheese, and cilantro, if using, in a food processor until creamed together. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and process until fully combined. Form into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

2. For the Hot Dog Empanada Filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beans, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Roughly mash. Add hot dog pieces and cook 1 minute, then remove skillet from heat. Stir in Cotija cheese and cilantro and allow to cool.

3. To Assemble: Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from refrigerator. (Let dough sit out for 10 minutes if it has been refrigerated overnight.) Divide dough into 14 to 16 even pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough piece into a 4 1/2–inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Working with one piece at a time, moisten outer edge of each dough round with water. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each round and fold round in half, pressing on the edges. Crimp edges with a fork to seal and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet; keep baking sheet refrigerated as you continue forming empanadas. If dough starts to get very soft as you are working with it, refrigerate it for a few minutes to firm it up. Brush empanadas lightly with beaten egg and bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until evenly browned.

PHOt Dog

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Adapted from a recipe by J. Kenji López-Alt

Pho, the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, is all the rage these days, but a truly authentic broth takes hours to make. We've streamlined the process by putting your handy slow cooker to work. And, for a special twist, the soup is topped with skewered grilled hot dog slices, which both look great and add another savory, meaty element to the dish.

Active time: 1 hour
Total time: 9 hours
Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Special Equipment
6-quart slow cooker, fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, grill pan, skewers (preferably wooden or bamboo)

Ingredients

2 large onions, split in half
1 large hand ginger (about 6 inches long), split in half lengthwise
3 pounds beef shin, with meat attached
1.5 pounds oxtail, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick slices
1 pound boneless beef chuck
1 pound beef brisket
3 whole star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
4 cloves
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1/4 cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for oiling grill pan
4 Oscar Mayer Premium Jumbo Beef Franks, each sliced lengthwise into 4 strips

To Serve:
6 to 8 servings pho noodles
2 to 3 cups mixed fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, and mint)
2 to 3 cups trimmed bean sprouts
1/2 cup sliced scallions
2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges
Hoisin sauce and Sriracha

Directions

1. Adjust an oven rack so it is 3 to 4 inches from the broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Place onions and ginger on a foil-lined broiler tray. Broil, turning occasionally, until charred on all surfaces, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, combine beef shin, oxtail, chuck, and brisket in a large stockpot. Cover with cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 15 minutes, then transfer meat to a colander. Rinse under cool tap water, carefully scrubbing debris off bones and out of cracks in meat.

3. Add meat to a 6-quart slow cooker along with charred onions and ginger, anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, coriander, fish sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover with cool water. Set slow cooker to cook for 8 hours on low.

4. Remove meat from broth. When cool enough to handle, slice brisket and chuck into thin slices or rough chunks and, if desired, pick meat and connective tissue from oxtails and beef shins. Discard bones.

5. Strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander into a large bowl or pot. You should end up with about 2 quarts concentrated broth. Dilute with water or reduce as necessary to reach 4 quarts. Return broth to slow cooker and place on warm setting. Carefully skim fat off of surface of broth and discard. (Alternatively, cool completely, refrigerate overnight, and skim hardened fat off, then reheat.) Season broth to taste with additional fish sauce, salt, and/or sugar. It should be highly seasoned.

6. Lightly oil a grill pan and heat over medium-high heat. Cook hot dog slices for 2 to 3 minutes per side until evenly seared. Remove from heat and, when cool enough to handle, thread onto skewers.

7. Prepare pho noodles according to package directions. To serve pho, divide rehydrated noodles among individual noodle bowls. Pour hot broth over noodles and place 2 to 3 hot dog skewers in each bowl. Serve immediately, allowing guests to top with cooked meat, herbs, bean sprouts, scallions, lime juice, and sauces as they wish.

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