While a hot dog with all the typical American condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish) is heavenly for kids, as an adult, I realize there is nothing wrong with switching things up a bit and getting creative. In fact, a plain hot dog can be a fantastic blank canvas for chefs to work with—a great, edible example of going from drab to fab.
With that in mind, here are ten alternative ways to dress up your dog that will please both your inner child and refined adult tastes.
A delicious take on the flavors of the classic Jewish deli sandwich, this dog is topped with a rich dressing, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and a bit of salt and pepper for taste. Once you dig in, there is no going back. Make one for yourself with Martha Stewart's recipe—it's guaranteed to fulfill any cravings for an actual reuben sandwich.
This hot dog is the definition of indulgence. The creamier the mac and cheese, the better this dog will turn out... because cheese obviously makes everything better! Try out Taste and Tell's irresistible recipe.
You may have heard of the little Japanese hot dog craze that hit Vancouver with the company Japadog. For the uninitiated, Japadogs are different kinds of hot dogs with Japanese-inspired toppings... and they are insanely addictive. Their signature dog is the Terimayo and combines teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed for a winning combination. It may sound weird at first, but the first bite will change your life... no exaggeration, of course.
Test it out for yourself with Sweet Little Kitchen's copycat recipe.
For those of you that want both the side Caesar salad and the entrée in one tidy package, this topping is the perfect solution. Let's just pretend that makes this a healthier version of the hot dog, shall we? You can find the recipe at What's Gaby Cooking.
Go Greek by adding dill, tomatoes, cucumbers, chives, and Greek yogurt to complement your frank. There is something instantly refreshing about this version—these cool ingredients make it perfect for a hot summer's day. My Recipes has a scrumptious version of the dog that is a must-try.
With the wiener wrapped in bacon, this dog may not be easy on the arteries, but is well worth the meat overload. And since the only requirement for a "Tijuana dog" is the bacon-wrapped center, the topping choices are endless: pinto beans, various cheeses, guacamole, fried onions, salsa, pineapple, grilled or pickled jalapeños, and pico de gallo, just to name a few. The only thing you will need after this calorie-heavy dog is a well-deserved siesta.
Make your own masterpiece—but if you'd like a starting point, you can use Food.com's recipe.
This delicious breakfast frank is proof that hot dogs are just as welcome at brunch as they are for lunch or dinner: this crazy mashup pairs the ubiquitous hot dog and bun with eggs, hash brown potatoes, cheese, tomatoes, and bacon. Definitely a reason to get out of bed!
Start your mornings off right by using Frugal Mom Eh!'s recipe.
When two American and Vietnamese lunch favorites collide, the result is the bahn mi-inspired hot dog. The distinct flavor combination of cilantro, crisp cucumbers, and jalapeños play well with the roasted flavor of the frank, which substitutes for the popular barbecue pork that these sandwiches normally include.
Try chef Julie Yoon's delicious recipe and discover why this version of the hot dog may be the best of both worlds.
This hot dog variation is as good as a bowl of French onion soup—and, dare I say, even better because of the savory presence of the hot dog frank. Give Curvy Carrot's creative recipe a try—complete with caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese—and you be the judge.
Put some aloha on your dog with fresh (or canned) pineapple, red onions, and a dash of cayenne pepper. The sweet flavor of the pineapple compliments the smoky, savory flavor of the meat, and may be the next best thing to actually booking a ticket to Hawaii.
See for yourself with Martha Stewart's simple recipe.
Hopefully, this list has shown that something as ordinary as a hot dog can easily be upgraded into a meal that you'd be willing to show off to your friends at the next summer potluck or grilling party.
Did we miss any of your favorite flavor combinations or toppings? Let us know in the comments.