Hot Dog Condiment Recipe
If you're planning on a barbecue this Memorial Day weekend, hot dogs might be part of your menu. Hot dogs, along with hamburgers, are the symbol and epitome of American food. The concept here is as simple as it is delicious: a sausage tucked in a long piece of bread.
Of course, I like to have fun with my food. I made my own version using garlic and spinach chicken sausages and a couple of unusual condiments. I used beet goat cheese sauce and a goat cheese spread made with French pickles (called cornichons), chives, curly parsley and mustard. It made for a refreshing change from regular ketchup and mustard. I could eat them by the dozen!
Yields: 6 hot dogs6 garlic and spinach chicken sausages (or any others), store-bought
6 tablespoons beet and goat cheese sauce
12 cornichons (or pickles), finely chopped
1 cup curly parsley
1 tablespoon garlic chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon
4 ounces goat cheese, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
2 teaspoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1 tablespoon canola oil, as needed
2 cups salad greens (see tips)
6 hot dog buns, slightly toasted
Keeping a bright green color: Wash the parsley (stems included, because that's where the flavor is the most potent). Quickly blanch it for about 5-10 seconds in boiling salted water and transfer to an ice bath, to maintain a bright green color. Drain thoroughly of all water and pat dry on paper towels. Coarsely chop the parsley.
For the goat cheese spread: In a small mixing bowl, combine the greens, garlic chives, mustard, lemon juice, 10 cornichons and avocado oil until smooth. Add the green mixture to the goat cheese. Mix well. Add heavy cream (or milk) to make the consistency smoother. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Set aside.
Prick the sausages using a fork. Brush them with canola oil.
With a silicone brush, grease the grill of your barbecue (a regular frying pan would work but you won't get the nice grill marks) and heat until it's really hot, almost at the smoking point. Place the sausages on the grill. Roll the sausages using tongs and brown each side (a total of about 12-14 minutes) until golden. Remove from the grill. Transfer to a platter.
Spread a thin layer of beet and goat cheese sauce on one side of each bun. Add a layer of salad greens. Spread the herb goat cheese spread on the other side of the bun. Finish with the grilled sausage.
Garnish with the remaining chopped cornichons.
Blanching the herbs will help maintain a bright green color.
Adding lemon juice prevents the herb from turning black. I heard on NPR that you could also add a pinch of ascorbic acid to keep herbs green.
I use parsley stems as well as the leaves, because that's where the flavor is the most potent. If you don't have any curly parsley, you can use other herbs such as cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or basil.
I used arugula, frisée, Romaine and red oak leaf mixed greens. You could also add mâche (lamb's lettuce, also known as corn salad), spinach or shredded red cabbage.
I use avocado oil because of its exquisite artichoke-like aroma and its thick consistency. Since this oil is fairly expensive, I only use it for spreads or salad dressing. You can find it at most specialty food stores or online.
You can find cornichons at Trader Joe's. They're small, crisp, tart French pickles made from tiny gherkin cucumbers.May 27, 2011.