Nothing screams "summer" like hot dogs on the grill. Here's an interesting and tasty way to host a buffet featuring what Anthony Bourdain calls, “tube steaks.” By the way, July 23rd is National Hot Dog Day, and you can't let this opportunity go by without celebrating it, can you?
The main course: Choose a variety of hot dogs and sausages to suit your guests. Everyone loves kosher-style for their bite and spice; polish sausage adds a nice variety; artisanal sausages give you a chance to experiment with chicken-apple, chipotle-venison, lamb-rosemary combinations. Make sure the grill is hot and ready to go when your hungry guests are.
The buns: Careful here, you don't want those squishy, falling-apart-before-you-take-the-first-bite buns. Get something a bit more dense and durable. A not-too-crusty french baguette would work, potato buns have a bit of heft, and there are those folks who like their dogs on panini bread. Whatever you use, pop them on the grill for a quick heat-up and a touch of color.
Appetizers: Mini-dogs in a BBQ sauce, or wrapped in bacon and grilled could work well as a build-up to the main event.
The fixings: You'll want to include the traditional accompaniments, of course – mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, pickles, and hot peppers. Why not mix it up a little with a variety of unusual mustards and ketchups (there's a sriracha ketchup in markets now), sauerkraut, chili, steak sauce, and grated cheeses?
The salads: Don't go overboard on these; simpler is better for this type of get together. Do the expected potato salad and cole slaw. Maybe add a bean salad or corn casserole. Don't forget the potato chips. Have some fresh cut veggies on hand to lessen the guilt.
Dessert: Anything goes in this category – cut melon, brownies, cakes, pies, ice cream. Here's where you can make it easy on yourself. Ask everyone to bring a dessert. Brilliant, right?
Have a great time and let us know how everything went, below!