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Hot Diggity Dog! Can you believe it’s international Hot Dog Day on July 19?

The hot dog is a snack much loved by children and adults alike and can be made simply with a roll and a sausage or jazzed up with various types of sausage and toppings.

origins of this humble but popular snack

Charles Feltman, a German immigrant who ran a hugely successful restaurant on Coney Island, is generally credited with being the first to sell hot dogs in 1870, but other contenders exist, including Bavarian immigrant Anton Feuchtwanger who sold hot sausages on the streets of St. Louis and included a roll to prevent customers them from burning their fingers.

As for the name, several stories abound, the most common being that the name ‘hot dog’ was created by students at Yale University in the 1890s who referred to the wagons selling hot sausages in buns outside their dorms as ‘dog wagons’ and the food as ‘hot dogs’.

The chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio sent us three of their favourite hot dog with a twist recipes.

sticky hot dogs

makes 6

  • 6 sausages
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 hot dog rolls
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Large pinch brown sugar
  • 2 tsp wine or cider vinegar

Heat oven to 200°C. Place the sausages in a non-stick baking tray and roast for 20 mins. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions and mustard seeds together for 10–15 mins until soft and golden. Remove the sausages and brush with maple syrup. Place the rolls onto the same baking tray and return to the oven until the sausages are dark, shiny and cooked through (5 minutes).

Stir the mustard, sugar and vinegar into the onions until the sugar has melted. Cut the rolls open across the top, add a layer of rocket leaves, followed by a sausage and then spoon over the mustardy onions before devouring.

Brazilian-inspired hot dog

makes 2

  • 2 hot dog rolls
  • 2 hot dog sausages
  • 100g beef mince
  • 30g tinned sweetcorn
  • 5ml tomato paste
  • 1ml fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 20g onion, finely chopped
  • 20g tomato, chopped
  • 20g red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3ml mustard
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 10g coriander, finely chopped
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 40g potatoes, finely julienned
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Oil for frying

In a bowl, season the mince with salt and pepper and use your hands to combine well. Let it rest for 5 minutes. In a hot pan, add the oil and fry the mince until it is cooked through, stirring all the time to break all chunky bits. The intention is to brown the meat a little for more flavour. Next, add the corn and thyme, stirring constantly. Then, add the tomato paste and mix until well incorporated. Taste and add salt if needed. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl, whisk egg yolk and mustard. Then, slowly pour in the veg oil while whisking. Once emulsified, add a splash of lemon juice together with salt, pepper and a third of the chopped coriander. Whisk together and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine chopped onion, tomato, red pepper and the rest of the coriander. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside. In a pan, add enough oil for deep frying. Heat the oil to 150ºC and deep fry the potatoes until a pale golden colour. Place them on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Set aside. In a frying pan, sauté the hot dog sausages until brown. Slice rolls lengthwise without separating the two halves. Spread a thin layer of the mayonnaise on both sides, place sautéed sausage, mince and the salsa. Squeeze a bit more mayonnaise on top and garnish with the potato chips and chopped coriander. Serve with mayonnaise on the side for dipping.

 hot dog with Mexican corn salad, Parmesan and potato sticks

makes 6

  • 6 hot dog sausages
  • 6 hot dog rolls
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ red capsicum, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, diced
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Drain and rinse the corn. Add the corn to the pan and wait for the kernels to pop (+- 15 minutes). Turn off the heat and cool down. Meanwhile, in a bowl, add the red capsicum, red onion, avocado, feta, spring onion and jalapeño and the corn and lime juice. Mix together.

Then, in a separate bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream and spices. Toss this dressing over the salad and mix well until all the ingredients are lightly coated with dressing. Heat the hot dog sausages in a pot of boiling water or in the microwave. Slice each roll lengthways across the top and insert the sausage. Top with the salad, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and garnish with potato sticks.