Host a Next-Level Hot Dog Bar
It’s hot dog season, One of the most interactive ways to entertain is by hosting a hot dog bar. But you don’t have to stick to the old standbys of mustard, sauerkraut (my personal fave) and onions, today we have more options to inspire your guests to create the most amazing hot dog creations ever. Bonus? Each of these hot dogs are delicious served with Bar Dog Cabernet Sauvignon.
Yes, your hot dog bar should absolutely still have the basics like relish, mustard and sauerkraut. But have you considered upgrading your hot dog bar with a kale peanut slaw, pickled vegetables or crushed chips? It’s the perfect way to delight your guests and try something new.
Plan your table
Start your buffet off with plates. Then, set out your buns. We like to offer both toasted and soft buns – we’ve found guests love having the option to choose. After buns, set out the hot dogs.
Then build your bar in the most likely way that your guests will build their hot dog. We’ve found that the best order is to start with sauces (this includes ketchup and mustard), cheese, chili, crisp vegetables, and end with the crunchiest toppings.
Of course mustard and ketchup are expected, mayonnaise too. But other condiments that work beautifully with hot dogs include jalapeno cream cheese or nacho cheese sauce.
Jalapeno Cream Cheese
- 1 package cream cheese
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ of a 4 ounce can chopped green chilies, drained
- ½ of a 4 ounce can diced jalapeno peppers, drained
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Stir the ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined. Put mixture in a microwave safe dish, and heat for 2-3 minutes until soft and combined.
After loading your dog with a sauce, it’s time for a crisp, bright vegetable. Some fresh possibilities include pan-fried Shishito peppers, a bright, Asian-inspired kale slaw or a black bean and corn salsa for your hot dog topping.
Asian-inspired kale slaw
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, shredded
- 2 cups cabbage, shredded
- 2 scallions, finely chopped (both white & green parts)
- 1/2 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup peanuts, smashed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
Chop the kale, cabbage, scallions & mint and set aside in a large bowl. In a small bowl add the honey, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic and stir. When ready to toss, pour the dressing over the kale cabbage mixture. Add the chopped peanuts and toss. Coat the greens completely with dressing and nuts, then season with salt & pepper to taste.
Black Bean Corn Salsa
- ½ cup cooked black beans
- ½ cup corn kernels
- 1/4 cup red salsa (choose which spiciness works best for you)
- 1 red tomato, seeds removed and chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped fine
- Salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
Hot dog toppers
Top your hot dog off with something a little crunchy, a little pungent and 100% memorable. Here, we pulled together some refrigerator pickled red onions and carrots as well as crushed chips like BBQ chips or corn chips to create the ultimate hot dog bar.
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 red onion, sliced thin into moons or 6 carrots, peeled into ribbons
Mix all the ingredients – including either the red onion or the carrots – in a clean and dry pint-sized jar. Shake together until combined. Serve after the ingredients have had at least 30 minutes to marinate. Vegetables will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Bring it all together
When it comes to our favorite assembled hot dogs from the above ingredients, we love the corn and black bean salsa hot dog on top of a bun slathered with jalapeno cream cheese as well as the Kale slaw topped with peanuts with pickled carrots.
Any inspired hot dog toppings? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!
By Wine Sister, Helen Jane Hearn