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Did you know that it’s National Hot Dog Month? I sure didn’t, but the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council deems it so. Seems that the average American consumes around 60 hot dogs per year–most of which are eaten in the summer months.

Ssshh! Don’t tell Jamie Oliver!

As long as I’m dishing out Food Dork Trivia, I may as well tell you that the term hot dog came from 1901 sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan. He was at a baseball game and heard the vendors shouting “Get your dachshund sausages here! Get ‘em while they’re red hot!” He sketched a cartoon depicting the scene, but he didn’t know how to spell dachshund, so he called them hot dogs, instead.

Photo courtesy of Max & Cleo via hotdogblog.com

Which is kind of funny when you think about it because the dog breed Dachshunds are often referred to as Hot Dogs, as if they were named after the sausages, when in actuality the sausages were named after them.

But I digress…go figure.

I must admit that I am usually a die-hard mustard & relish kind of girl when it comes to hot dogs. And please don’t even think about trying to serve me a hot dog that hasn’t been sufficiently blackened on a grill. Boiled hot dogs need not apply. I rarely deviate much from The Standard. But for some reason, a Smogasboard o’ Condiments sounding appealing the other day. So smorgasboard we did! Let me tell ya, Friends, it’s going to be hard to go back to mustard and relish after this one!

All of these condiments were fantastic on hot dogs and bratwurst. Serving them Condiment Bar Style made for a fun activity for our dinner guests plating up their chow. The leftovers held up well enough to seriously rock the hamburgers we had the following night, too. Obviously, I’m all about Kicked-Up Casual dining options this summer.

Check out what graced our plates:

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions. No surprise here–I’d probably eat caramelized onions on sod if that was the only vehicle in which to eat them. I love those things!

Ahem. To the onions, not the sod.

Pepper Relish.

Pepper Relish. I usually reserve this sort of thing for blackened sausage tossed over pasta, but this worked beautifully on the ‘dogs.

Sauteed Mushrooms.

Sauteed Mushrooms. The ‘shrooms were totally for my love of the Bacon Slayer. He loves these little caramelized fungi with steaks, so why not sausages?

Avocado and Corn Salsa

Avocado and Corn Salsa because it is officially the Condiment for Everything. Just ask Kat–girlfriend is Committed to this salsa.

Now I didn’t take a ton of step-by-step photos for these recipes because, quite frankly, I think we’ve all seen enough of my chopping & sauteing stuff. Just know that each of these accouterments whip up in a jiff, and can be done well ahead of any grilling that will be taking place, so you can step away from the stove and hang out with your dinner guests instead.

♥♥♥

Caramelized Onions

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Makes ¾ Cup

 2 C. very thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion

1 ½ Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbs. water

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

  1. Place a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat, allowing pan time to warm.
  2. Add butter, water, onions, salt and pepper; stir until butter melts.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring periodically, until onions are deep golden brown, and very tender; about 25 minutes total.
  4. Serve immediately with grilled meats, sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, over warmed brie or goat cheese—just about anything.

♥♥♥

Pepper Relish

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Makes 1 1/4 Cups

1 ½ Tbs. olive oil

1 small onion, peeled & thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

2 C. sweet bell peppers, seeded & julienned

1 large jalapeno, seeded & julienned (about ¼ cup)

½ Tbs. unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, peeled & chopped

½ tsp. rice wine vinegar

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

  1. Pour olive oil into a 10-inch skillet set over medium heat.
  2. Once oil is moderately hot, add peppers and onions, and sauté until they’re crisp tender.
  3. Add the butter and garlic, and sauté one more minute, or until garlic is soft and starts to caramelize.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before pouring rice wine vinegar over all.
  5. Cook and stir continuously until the vinegar evaporates; about 1 more minute.
  6. Serve immediately with grilled meats, sausage, hot dogs, or hamburgers.

Note: Leftover peppers are great mixed with chorizo in omelets.

♥♥♥

Sautéed Mushrooms

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Makes 1 Cup

8 oz. Mini (Porto)Bella mushrooms

1 ½ Tbs. olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled & coarsely chopped

½ Tbs. unsalted butter

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 ½ tsp. low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. granulated sugar

  1. Stir together lemon juice, soy sauce, and sugar; set aside.
  2. Place a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, until very hot. Add the olive oil and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add butter and garlic to the skillet. Stir to sauté until butter is mostly absorbed; about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the lemon mixture into the skillet. Continue to cook and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until sauce is mostly absorbed.
  6. Serve immediately with grilled meats, sausage, hot dogs, or hamburgers.

♥♥♥

Corn and Avocado Salsa

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Serves 6-8

1½ C. fresh (cooked) corn, or thawed frozen corn

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

2 small tomatoes, diced (about 1 to 1 ½ C.)

½ C. finely diced Vidalia or other sweet onion

1 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbs.)

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1        In a medium bowl, combine the corn, diced avocado, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.

2        Pour in the fresh lime juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil. Stir.

3        Sprinkle in the cumin and cayenne, and stir well.

4        Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. I don’t recommend refrigerating the salsa for much longer than 30 minutes, or the avocado may start to brown.

5        Serve with tortilla chips, or over Asian Inspired Flank Steak.  Salsa is also great over most other grilled meats, or on top of toasted baguette slices.

♥♥♥

Happy National Hot Dog Month, Friends! :)

What’s your favorite hot dog/brat topping?

Do you deviate from the norm, or do you always use the same toppings?

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