“Dog Days of Summer”

How do you like your dog?
Boiled, grilled, pan fried….frozen like a popsicle!

Summer heat coaxes outdoor grilling and the classic hot dog is–top dog for barbecue gatherings, picnics and ball games. Whether it’s the nostalgia of Americana or ease of simplicity, the hot dog is a summer-time mainstay.

Summer’s in full swing, as hot dog vendors fill busy street corners, and ball games take on evening entertainment (no game is legit without a dog in one hand and a draft beer in another!) There is fun to be had in “dressing “your dog; stay classic with ketchup, mustard, and pickle relish, enjoy Chicago Style, drenched in chili or get swanky with fusion cuisine–the hot dog is ubiquitous.

If I’m buying dogs for a cookout, they are either hand-stuffed German wieners from the butcher or Koegel Viennas from the supermarket case. Hot dogs can fall into the disparaging term of mystery meat, and it’s important to know what it is that you are eating.

I decided to try my hand at homemade veggie dogs, and borrowed on a recipe where the dog can be cooked to one’s liking; boiled, grilled or pan-fried.

hotdog Collage

Veggie Dogs from baked in

Prep time: 20 mins     Cook time: 45 mins    Total time: 1 hour 5 mins   Yield: 8-10 hot dogs
Ingredients
  • 5 Tbsp almond meal
  • 9 oz firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika or several generous dashes liquid smoke
  • 1½ tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1⅛ cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Crumble tofu into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, measure the 2 Tbsp soy sauce and add enough water to get to the 100mL line. Add to food processor.
  3. Add almond meal, oil, onion, garlic, paprika/liquid smoke, sugar, salt, pepper, coriander, mustard, nutmeg, cardamom, and cumin to the processor and pulse until smooth, about two minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add vital wheat gluten and cornstarch to the mixture and stir to combine. Knead gently – the mixture will be soft but you’ll see strands of gluten forming.
  5. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Roll each into a rough hot dog shape (doesn’t have to be perfect). Wrap each dog in parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Twist ends of the foil shut.
  6. In a large pot with a steamer insert or basket, bring enough water to just under the steamer to a boil. Arrange your hot dogs in the steamer – close together is fine, and it’s okay if they’re touching.
  7. Cover and steam for 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool in the pot, uncovered.
  8. To cook, unwrap hot dogs and simmer in water for five minutes, or fry in a frying pan, or throw ‘em on the grill until hot and pretty with grill marks!
  9. Serve on buns with ketchup, mustard, relish, diced onions, or your favorite hot dog topping.
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