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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Meat & Poultry

FOOD HOLIDAY: National Hot Dog Day

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The Cubano Dog, adapted from the Cuban Sandwich. Photo courtesy Lightlife.

 

June 23rd is National Hot Dog Day, and we’ve got a new hot dog recipe: the Cubano Dog. It’s a riff on the Cubano (Cuban) Sandwich, a variation of ham and cheese made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, sliced dill pickles and mustard on lightly buttered Cuban (or Portuguese) roll.

Here, the hot dog and bun replace the pork and bread. Check out the different types of sandwiches.

The recipe is from Lightlife, a Nibble Top Pick Of The Week that specializes in delicious meatless alternatives. But any dog works: beef, bison, chicken, turkey or veggie.

RECIPE: CUBANO DOG

You can use store-bought pickles instead of making your own (it’s quick and easy!).

  • 2 large Portuguese rolls or 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 slices ham
  • 2 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced into 16 half-inch strips
  • Yellow mustard
  • For The Pickles

  • 1 cup very thinly sliced English cucumber, cut into half moons (see photo above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • ¼ -1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, cracked
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pickles. In a heat-proof bowl, toss together cucumbers and dill. Set aside.

    2. HEAT the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the liquid begins to simmer and the sugar dissolves. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers and toss to coat evenly. Cover and place in the refrigerator. The pickles can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.

    3. TOAST the rolls. If using Portuguese rolls, first slice them in half. You can toast them under the broiler at the same time as you broil the hot dogs. and the bread is toasted.

    4. TURN the oven to broil. First cook the hot dogs in a medium saucepan, covered with water. Bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let the hot dogs sit in the water for 2 minutes.

    4. ROLL 1 slice of ham around each dog. Place on a baking sheet (along with the hot dog rolls) and broil for 2 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from from broiler and add 4 slices of cheese to each dog. Broil for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

    5. REMOVE from the oven. Top each dog with 1/4 cup of drained pickles. Serve with mustard.

     

    chili-cheese-hot-dog-230

    You’ve come a long way, baby. The original Coney Island hot dog can be dressed in many types of garnishes. Photo courtesy Body By Bison.

     
    HOT DOG VERSUS SAUSAGE: THE DIFFERENCE

    The hot dog—also called a frankfurter and a wiener—is a type of sausage: ground meat stuffed into a casing*. The American hot dog differs from other sausages based on ingredients, origin and size.

    The original name for the hot dog, frankfurter, comes from a small town called Neu-Isenburg, located on the road from Frankfurt to Darmstadt. Every town in Germany has its own sausage recipe: blend of meat, spicing, etc.

    The frankfurter, a slender sausage like today’s frank, was made from pork. The name “wiener” comes from Vienna, Austria; the German name for Vienna is Wien. The wiener is similar to the frankfurter in recipe, but slightly shorter in size.

    Sausages appear in print as far back as Homer’s Odyssey, about 850 B.C.E. The earliest possible reference to “hot dog” occurs in the late 17th century.

    The written record is incomplete, but a sausage maker from Coberg, Germany named Johann Georghehner may have invented a sausage he called “little dachshunds,” or “little dogs.”

    Recipes for the predecessor of the American hot dog came to U.S. with immigrant butchers of several nationalities. While as uncertain as the Georgehner story, it is believed that in 1871, Charles Feltman, a butcher from Germany, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand selling 3,684 “dachshund sausages” in a milk roll during his first year in business. [Source: HotDog.org]

    Since sauerkraut and mustard were typical accompaniments to German sausages, they found their place atop the hot dog, later to be joined by many other toppings; for starters, bacon, cheese, chili, ketchup, onions, pickles/pickle relish, salsa and slaw.

    While we don’t know the different recipes of the first American hot dogs, it is beef rather than pork that has prevailed—possibly, because Nathan’s, today the world’s biggest hot dog brand, was a kosher recipe.

    In 1916 Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant, started a nickel hot dog stand on Coney Island with a $300 loan from two friends—Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante, both local boys. But it was his wife’s secret spice recipe that is attributed to the success over other vendors.
     
    *Sausage can also be vegetarian; and bulk sausage is available without the casing.

      

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    UPDATES: New Flavors From Product Favorites

    belvita-cranberry-orange-w-coffee-230

    A nutritious, easy breakfast is just a crunch away. Photo courtesy belVita.

     

    If we reported on all the updates to products we’ve previously reviewed, we’d need another full-time staff. Each year flavors come, flavors go; and on an all-too-regular basis, packaging changes.

    While we can’t keep on top of it all, here are recent updates to some of our favorite products.

    ANGRY ORCHARD CIDER’S SUMMER HONEY

    There are seasonal ciders, just as there are seasonal beers. Angry Orchard’s Summer Honey is a perfect poolside drink—or it would be, if we had a pool. Instead, we’re enjoying it in the great air-conditioned indoors.

    Here’s our original review of Angry Orchard Cider. The company website is AngryOrchard.com.
     
    APPLEGATE NATURAL UNCURED BEEF HOT DOGS
    NOW GRASS FED

    Ever since we published our review of the best organic hot dogs, Applegate has become our brand of choice.

     
    Applegate has always used meat from animals that are humanely raised and antibiotic free. Made with only beef, water, sea salt and spices, the dogs are also lower in fat, with less salt than other brands.

    Now, the beef is 100% grass fed, something of interest to healthier eaters. Compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef typically has:

  • Less total fat.
  • More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E.
  • More conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that’s thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks.
  •  
    Learn more at Applegate.com.

    BELVITA BREAKFAST BISCUITS IN CRANBERRY ORANGE

    Since their launch by Nabisco in 2012, belVita has been a favorite breakfast and snack item at our office and a Top Pick Of The Week. We prefer the original crunchy biscuits to the subsequent Soft Baked and Biscuit Bites variations.

    Recently, Cranberry Orange was added to belVita’s crunchy flavors. Along with Blueberry and Chocolate, it’s a favorite. The line is certified kosher (dairy) by OU. Discover more at BelvitaBreakfast.com.
     
    HALFPOPS

    Halfpops, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week, has added two new flavors to originals Butter & Sea Salt and Aged White Cheddar.

    The newcomers, Caramel & Sea Salt and Chipotle Barbeque, are equally delicious. The line is certified kosher (dairy) by OU, and certified gluten free. Find the retailer nearest you at Halfpops.com.

     

    NONNI’S THIN ADDICTIVES, NOW IN MANGO

    Nonni’s Thin Addictives, a lower-calorie alternative to biscotti, has released Mango Coconut Almond Thins.

    It joins Banana Dark Chocolate, Blueberry Oat Almond, Cinnamon Raisin, Cranberry Almond and Pistachio as a crunchy side to coffee and tea.

    The line is certified kosher (parve) by MK, a Montreal certifier (the product is made in Canada). Discover more at Nonnis.com.
     

    PRETZEL CRISPS, GLUTEN-FREE

    Flat, crunchy Pretzel Crisps are another favorite snack. We used the Dark Chocolate & Peppermint and White Chocolate & Peppermint flavors as stocking stuffers last December, and extolled the Sriracha & Lime flavor more recently.

    Now, there are four gluten-free varieties that taste just as good as the conventional versions: Gluten Free Original Minis, Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Flavored Crunch Minis, Gluten Free Salted Caramel Minis and Gluten Free Vanilla Yogurt Flavored Crunch Minis.

    From Deli Style to Minis to Modern Classics to Everyday Indulgents and Holiday Indulgents, there are quite a selection of Pretzel Crisps. See the whole line at PretzelCrisps.com. The line is certified kosher (dairy) by OU.

     

    chipotle-barbeque-230

    Chipotle Barbeque joins Caramel & Sea Salt in the Halfpops line. Photo courtesy Halfpops.

     
    QUAKER OATS’ 3-MINUTE STEEL CUT OATS

    Quaker has introduced new Quick 3-Minute Steel Cut Oats, which delivers the same hearty texture and nutty taste that has made steel cut oats our favorite—but with a far more convenient cook time.

    Available in plain oats in canisters, and flavored individual pouches: 3-Minute Blueberries & Cranberries and Cinnamon and Sugar. Discover more at QuakerOats.com.
     
    SAMUEL ADAMS SUMMER BEERS

    Some people like a lighter brew for the hot weather, and Samuel Adams offers a good selection. Two new lighter brews for summer refreshment include Downtime Pilsner, a “laid-back” golden pilsner, and Rebel Rider IPA, a hoppy West Coast-style IPA with a lighter body. These new brews are joined by traditional summer favorites, Boston Lager, Porch Rocker and Summer Ale.

    Also new, from the Small Batch Collection, is Honey Queen, a blend of mead and beer. Dating back to the 12th century, this combination is known as a braggot—a new word for our Beer Glossary. It’s brewed with three different honeys, complex hops and chamomile for a tart sweetness with a lovely honey finish.

    Learn more at SamuelAdams.com.

      

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    RECIPE: Deconstructed Fajita Salad

    Beef-Fajita-Salad-with-Mango-Serrano-Vinaigrette-beefitswhatsfordinner-230

    Ditch the tortilla carbs and have a fajita
    salad. Photo courtesy Beef It’s What’s For
    Dinner.

     

    According to Cabo Flats cantina and bar, there are 54,000 Mexican restaurants in the U.S., and $39 billion is spent each year on Mexican restaurant food.

    Instead of an elaborate fajita spread with six different condiments and sides (see the history of fajitas, below), try this “deconstructed” Beef Fajita Salad with Mango-Serrano Vinaigrette. It’s from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

    You can substitute a green salad for the diced mangoes. Or, serve a large green salad on the side with a different vinaigrette (we like balsamic).

    RECIPE: BEEF FAJITA SALAD WITH MANGO-
    SERRANO VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 beef boneless top sirloin steak (about 1 pound), cut 1 inch thick
  • 3 medium mangoes, peeled, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium poblano chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion (about 11 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup radishes (about 1 bunch), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • For The Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  •  
    Optional

  • Flour or corn tortillas
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BRUSH the mangoes lightly with oil. Place the mangoes and poblanos in the center of the grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill the chiles, covered, 9 to 10 minutes (gas grill times remain the same) or until the skins are completely blackened, turning occasionally. Grill the mangoes 8 to 14 minutes (gas grill times remain the same) or until very tender, turning occasionally. Place the chiles in a food-safe plastic bag; close bag. Let stand 15 minutes. Set the mangoes aside.

    2. PRESS the black pepper evenly onto the steak. Brush the onion slices lightly with oil. Place the steak in the center of the grill over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange the onion slices around steak. Grill the steak and onions, covered, turning occasionally. Cook for 11 to 15 minutes over coals, 13 to 16 minutes over medium heat on preheated gas grill, or until the steak is medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) and the onion is tender. Keep warm. Meanwhile…

     

    top-sirloin-lockestmeats.ca-230

    A top sirloin steak, grilled and ready for a fajita salad (or a regular fajita!). Photo courtesy Red Marble Steaks.

     
    3. PREPARE the vinaigrette. Cut the grilled mangoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Combine 1/2 cup mango, lime juice, water and serrano chiles in a food processor. Cover and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil through the opening in the lid, processing until well blended. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

    4. REMOVE and discard the skins, stems and seeds from the the poblano chiles and cut them into 3/4-inch pieces. Slice the steak. Cut the onion slices in half.

    5. PLACE the beef, remaining mango pieces, onion, chiles and radishes on serving platter. Season with salt as desired. Drizzle the salad with vinaigrette. sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
     

    ABOUT FAJITAS

    Fajita is a Tex-Mex term for strips of meat cut from the faja, or beef skirt (skirt steak is the most common cut used to make fajitas, but you can also use top sirloin). The word faja is Spanish for band, belt, sash or strip.

    The dish was popularized in the 1970s by Mexican restaurants in Texas. The meat was served sizzling, usually cooked with onions and bell peppers. Tortillas were used to roll the meat, with a choice of add-ins from shredded lettuce and cheese to guacamole, pico de gallo or other salsa, sour cream, and tomato.

    Today, you can order fajitas in all popular proteins: chicken, pork, shrimp, and all cuts of beef.

      

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    RECIPE: Oven Fried Chicken With Corn Flakes

    Photo courtesy Cereal Lovers Cookbook.

     

    July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day. Our favorite fried chicken recipe is breaded with Corn Flakes. We usually make this skillet fried chicken recipe, but here’s a “bake fry” recipe.

    Of course, it’s breaded with Corn Flakes crumbs. Not only is the texture superior to flour, but the corn flakes add a delightful flavor note. (Panko, Japanese bread crumbs, provide the texture but not the flavor.)

    You can make this recipe with or without the chicken skin. We remove it to cut back on cholesterol.

  • 7 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, crushed to 1-3/4 cups
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, rinsed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Preparation

    1. CRUSH. Crush corn flakes in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Place crushed cereal in a shallow dish or pan. Set aside.

    2. MIX. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg and milk slightly. Add flour, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with cereal. Place in single layer, in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray or foil lined. Drizzle with margarine.

    3. Bake at 350° F about 1 hour or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. For food safety, internal temperature of the chicken should reach at least 165ºF. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot.

     

    CORN FLAKES HISTORY

    Corn flakes were developed by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a surgeon and vegetarian who built a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, and his brother Will Keith (W.K.) Kellogg, the sanitarium’s bookkeeper. Many of the patients were wealthy individuals with digestive problems.

    Seeking to develop a more digestible form of bread for the patients, the brothers Kellogg had just placed a sample of boiled wheatberries on a baking sheet when Dr. Kellogg was summoned to the operating room for an emergency, and W.K. was also called away to supervise arrangements for the funeral of another patient.

    When they returned to their experiment, they ran the cooked wheatberries through rollers and, to their surprise, found that each wheat berry formed a large, thin flake. The brothers had accidentally discovered the principle of tempering grains, and called the flaked wheat cereal Granose.

    They applied the same technique to create Corn Flakes, made from white corn grits; and rice flakes.

     

    corn-flakes-box-230

    For breakfast or breading! Photo courtesy Kellogg.

     

    The first corn flakes appeared in 1898 and were called Sanitas Corn Flakes (presumably after the sanitarium, a questionable inspiration for a breakfast food). They were manufactured by Dr. Kellogg’s Sanitas Food Company.

    In 1906, W.K. Kellogg formed his own company for nationwide marketing of Corn Flakes (Dr. Kellogg preferred healthcare to business). C.W. Post, a former patient at the sanitarium, came out with his own corn flakes at about the same time. At first he called them Elijah’s Manna, and later changed the name to Post Toasties.

    The Kellogg’s Corn Flakes rooster actually has a name: Cornelius Rooster. The artwork was created in 1957 by Rena Ames Harding at the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency. It has been pictured on the front of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box ever since.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: The History Of Independence Day (& What They Ate)

    THE HISTORY OF INDEPENDENCE DAY

    A federal holiday, Independence Day—also known as July 4th or the Fourth of July—commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, which met in Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia.

    The legal separation of the Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, the day that the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution declaring the United States independent from Great Britain’s rule.

    Congress declared that the 13 American colonies were now a new sovereign nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.

    The Declaration of Independence, a statement comprising 1137 words, authored largely by Thomas Jefferson, was officially adopted by Congress on July 4th after two days of debate and revision.

       

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    Happy Independence Day. God Bless America! Photo courtesy ESquared Hospitality.

     
    Nearly a month would go by, however, before the signing of the document took place.

  • On July 4th, only 12 of the 13 colonies voted to approve the Declaration. New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9th, because their state assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence.
  • It took two weeks for the Declaration to be engrossed on parchment. Engrossing is the process of preparing an official document in a large, clear hand. Timothy Matlack, a Pennsylvanian who had assisted the Secretary of the Congress, Charles Thomson, was probably the engrosser.
  • Most of the delegates signed on August 2nd, but several signed on a later date. Two others never signed at all! (Source)
  • Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed on July 4th!
  • If you were a member of the Second Continental Congress in 1776, you were a rebel and considered a traitor by the King of England. You knew that a reward had been posted for the capture of certain prominent rebel leaders, and that signing your name to the Declaration meant that you pledged your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor to the cause of freedom.
  •  
    The Revolutionary War was a long, hard, and difficult struggle that began on April 19, 1775 with the battles of Lexington and Concord. It ended officially on September 3, 1783, when a peace treaty with Great Britain was signed. If you’ve forgotten your high school history, here’s a recap.

    From the outset, Americans celebrated their independence on July 4th, preferring to honor the approval of the Declaration of Independence over the July 2nd vote for independence.

     

    kurobuta-bone-in-ham-WS-230

    Baked ham was a colonial mainstay. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     

    WHAT DID THE DELEGATES EAT?

    Since THE NIBBLE focuses on food, we investigated what the delegates might have eaten.

    Working long hours, the delegates would have stepped out for nourishment at coffee houses, taverns and publick houses. These destinations were not known for their cuisine, but were venues for exchanging ideas, sharing news and conducting business (the restaurant business as we now know it developed later).

    People who could afford to eat meals in these establishments were generally of the wealthier classes. The food was often served buffet-style, on a sideboard. As was common into the 20th century, the food came free with the drinks. (Source)

    At the time, colonial Philadephia was a melting pot of English, French and West Indian cuisine influences.

  • Meals often featured baked ham with warm potato salad, meat pies (chicken or pork), oysters, stew and soup, including the traditional Philadelphia PepperPot Soup.
  • Also popular: terrapin (turtle) and tripe (animal stomach, typically from cows or pigs).
  • The bread included corn muffins, white and whole wheat rolls—buttered, of course.
  • Dessert could be fruit pies, sugar cookies, gingerbread, Sally Lunn (a pound cake) or ice cream. The confectionery in Philadelphia, including ice cream, was considered the best in America.
  • Beverages included beer, hard cider, rum, and other alcoholic beverages; alcohol was considered healthful. City water supplies were dangerously polluted; only rural folk drank water from clean sources, and bottled it to sell in the city. In 1790, government figures showed that annual per-capita alcohol consumption for Americans over age 15 included 34 gallons of beer and cider, five gallons of distilled spirits and one gallon of wine. (Source)
  •  
    Would you give up the modern July 4th standards for a colonial-era meal? If yes, start planning for next year!

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Hot Dog Toppings ~ What’s On Your Dog?

    Americans eat more hot dogs on July 4th than any other day of the year: 150 million of them.

    In previous years we’ve done articles about regional hot dog toppings toppings, like these and these; and gourmet hot dog toppings such as bruschetta and fresh basil leaves, caramelized onions, crumbled blue cheese, corn relish and fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeños and slaw, and fruit salsa (mango, peach, pineapple).

    “Don’t be fooled,” says Restaurant-Hospitality.com. “A closer look at which toppings customers specify when they purchase hot dogs indicates that most stick with old standbys, even when more exotic options can readily be had.”

    As an example, JJ’s Red Hots of Charlotte, North Carolina, offers its toppings list in order of customer preference.
     
    TOP 10* HOT DOG TOPPINGS

    1. Mustard
    2. Onions
    3. Chili
    4. Slaw
    5. Pimento cheese
    6. Relish/pickles
    7. Bacon
    8. Sauerkraut
    9. Salsa
    10. Caramelized onions

       

    jjs-red-hots-group-230

    The choice of toppings at JJ’s Red Hots. Photo courtesy JJ’s | Charlotte.

     
    *There are regional preferences, of course: Pimento cheese is popular spread in the South; and ketchup, which many Americans prefer to mustard on their dogs, is not on their Top 10 list!
     

    Our own favorite toppings are our parents’ favorites, what Mom served in our house (and from our family’s favorite hot dog stand, long gone): sauerkraut and green pickle relish with grainy mustard. But give us a gourmet dog with bacon and blue cheese and we’ll have seconds.

    There is a proper order to topping a hot dog, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. Condiments should be applied in the following order and always on top of the dog, not between the dog and the bun:

  • Wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first.
  • Chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, are next.
  • Shredded cheese.
  • Spices, like chili flakes, celery salt or pepper.
  •  

    chicago-hot-dog-kindredrestaurant-230

    A Chicago-style hot dog: an all-beef dog on a
    steamed poppyseed bun, with toppings added in this order: yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers and celery salt. Photo courtesy Kindred Restaurant | Davidson, North Carolina
    , where they add a side of salad.

     

    MORE HOT DOG IDEAS

  • Crescent-wrapped hot dogs recipe and an on a stick variation.
  • Italian hot dogs: marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and pesto on turkey franks recipe.
  • Bacon cheese dogs recipe.
  •  
    HOT DOG TRIVIA

    According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council:

  • An estimated seven billion hot dogs are eaten by Americans between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  • Americans consume an estimated 20 billion hot dogs a year, more than twice the retail sales figures (and about 70 hot dogs per person). This includes dogs purchased from street vendors, at ballparks, carnivals and other venues.
  • Hot dogs are served in 95 percent of homes in the United States.
  • Each year, Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs per capita.
  • Miller Park in Milwaukee is the only Major League ball park in which sausages outsell hot dogs. Check out The Beast, their “turducken” of hot dogs.
  • Ball park hot dog vendors need to be strong. A fully loaded bin weights approximately 40 pounds, and vendors typically walk 4 to 5 miles per game, up and down steps. They work are paid on commission plus tips.
  • “Nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog” is a phrase less famous than “Go ahead, make my day.” But Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry said them both (the former in “Sudden Impact”).
  • Glamour queen Marlene Deitrich’s preferred meal was hot dogs and Champagne.
  • Visitors can purchase hot dogs at the Vatican Snack Bar.
  •  
    HOT DOG FACTS & TRIVIA

    Take our hot dog trivia quiz.

    Here’s how hot dogs are made (video).

    The history of hot dogs, including how the frankfurter became the hot dog.

    Why are hot dogs sold in packs of eight, while hot dog rolls are sold in 10-packs? The mystery revealed.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Meat Of The Month Club

    capicola-230

    Top-quality cooked and cured meats monthly. Capicola from DeLallo.com.

     

    Need a special gift for your favorite carnivore? Murray’s Meat of the Month Club will send a monthly treat of the finest cooked or cured artisan meats.

    Each month you or your giftee will receive Murray’s choicest selections: cooked and cured meats, whole and encased meats, salami, pâtés. Two delicious selections will arrive on the third Thursday of the month.

    If you’re giving a club membership as a gift, Murray’s will email you a welcome letter that you can tuck in a card.

    The Meat of the Month Club is priced beginning at $225.00 for four months of deliveries. Other options include six months ($325) and twelve months ($625). All prices finclude shipping.

    Order at MurraysCheese.com.

     

     
      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Bacon Rose Bouquet Recipe

    Mom gets flowers for Mother’s Day; perhaps Dad would prefer a bacon bouquet. It’s easy to make 12 long-stemmed bacon roses.

    Here’s a video from the National Pork Board that shows how to make bacon roses.
     
    RECIPE: BACON ROSES

    Ingredients For 12 Bacon Roses

  • 12 strips of bacon
  • 24 toothpicks
  • 12 stems from plastic roses*
  • Glass vase (or pitcher)
  • Optional: red ribbon
  •  
    *Get 12 fabric or plastic roses on plastic stems from the craft store. You have to remove the flowers, but typically, they snap off so you can wash the stems and use them again. After you remove the flower, wash the top of the stem before adding the bacon roses.

     

    bacon-bouquet-porkbeinspired-230

    It’s easy to make this tasty bacon rose bouquet. Find more recipes at PorkBeInspired.com.

     
    Preparation

    1. UNWRAP the bacon and gently separate the slices. Roll each into a bacon rosebud.

    2. INSERT two toothpicks to hold each bud in place. Place the buds on a wire rack over a pan and bake at 400°F for 25-35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

    3. MOUNT a bacon bud at the top of each stem and place the stems into a vase. Tie the ribbon around the vase. Present to the happy dad.

     
    ALTERNATIVE: SEND A JERKY BOUQUET

    A turnkey alternative to making bacon roses is to send a delicious beef jerky bouquet—12 long-stemmed pieces of jerky—from GaryWest.com.

    Wrapped decoratively in red tissue and delivered in a traditional flower box, the steak bouquet is $42.00, with a choice of flavors: Traditional, Black Pepper Cajun and Teriyaki.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Kabob Sandwiches

    For your grilling pleasure, here’s an alternative to burgers and other red meat from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

    Food on a stick is great fun for kids, and the entire family can help prepare this simple kabob recipe.

    Children can skewer the meat, which cooks in minutes on a grill or indoor George Foreman-type grill. Then everyone assembles his/her own pita sandwich, customizing the garnishes to their preferences.

    This recipe is classic Greek: roasted meat with tzatziki, the Greek yogurt-cucumber sauce, and whatever garnishes you like:

  • The basics: lettuce, onion, tomato
  • The “extras”: bell pepper rings, thin-sliced cucumber, radish or cucumber salad
  • The “whatevers” from the fridge: fresh or pickled chiles, crumbled feta, pepperoncini, pickles and of course, “whatever”
  • And did we mention, it’s quick?

       

    kabob-sandwiches-ws-recipe-230

    Find more delicious recipes at Williams-Sonoma.com. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     

    RECIPE: QUICK KABOB PITA SANDWICHES WITH TZATZIKI

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt (more to taste)
  • 1 pound filet mignon, lamb loin or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 pita bread rounds
  • Garnishes: shredded romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes and shaved red onion
  • More garnishes: bell pepper, chiles, feta, pepperoncini, pickles, whatever you’ve got
  •  
    For The Tzatziki (Yogurt Sauce)

  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons total chopped fresh dill and/or mint
  • Salt to taste
  •  

    lamb-kabobs-sliding-skewers-WS-230

    Iconic Greek lamb (shish) kabobs, made even easier with these stainless sliding skewers. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the tzatziki. Combine all ingredients and stir well. Add salt to taste and set aside. This can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge; serve it at room temperature.

    2. PREHEAT the outdoor grill to medium-high. For an indoor grill, place the grill plate on the lower level and the griddle plate on the upper level (Williams-Sonoma used the Cuisinart Elite Griddler). Preheat both sides to 450°F.

    3. STIR together in a small bowl the paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and salt. In another bowl, toss the meat with the oil and 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture.

    4. THREAD 5 or 6 meat cubes onto each skewer and place on the grill (or the grill side of the electric griddle). Cook, turning the skewers occasionally, until the beef/lamb is cooked to medium, about 8 minutes, or the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Meanwhile…

     

    5. LIGHTLY toast the pita bread rounds on the grill or the griddle side of the electric griddle, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

    6. CUT the toasted pita rounds in half crosswise, then pry open. Fill the pockets with the meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onion other garnishes. Top with the tzatziki and serve immediately.

     
    OUR FAVORITE NEW SKEWERS

    Grilled kabobs is easy until it’s time to remove the cooked food from the skewer. New skewers from Williams-Sonoma (photo above)solve the problem with a sliding disk that lets you push food onto the plate in one swift motion.

    An added bonus: The square shape of the rod prevents foods from spinning when you turn kabobs on the grill. You’re guaranteed even cooking!

    This Williams-Sonoma exclusive is dishwasher safe, too. A great gift for grilling enthusiasts.

    Get yours at Williams-Sonoma.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: BLT Avocado Burger

    May is National Burger Month. We usually default to our list of 35+ burger recipes—at least one variation for every day of the month.

    But we’re calling out this Grilled Avocado BLT Burger from the California Avocado Commission, because it has all of our favorite “essential” toppings. Our idea of burger heaven includes avocado, bacon, blue cheese, caramelized onions and tomato.

    This isn’t the fastest recipe to prepare, because all the components are homemade. But if your palate is like ours, it’s worth pulling out all the stops—especially on a holiday weekend when there’s more time.

    RECIPE: BLT AVOCADO BURGERS

    Ingredients For 6 Burgers
     
    For The Caramelized Chipotle Onions

  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle or other chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  •    

    Grilled-Avocado-BLT-Burger-californiaavocado-230ps

    Our favorite burger recipe has it all: avocado, bacon, blue cheese, caramelized onions and tomato. Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission.

     
    For The Blue Cheese Spread

  • 6 1/2 ounce light garlic-and-herbs spreadable cheese
  • 4 ounces Point Reyes blue cheese or other favorite blue cheese, crumbled
  •  
    For The Burger Patties

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/3 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup Zinfandel or other hearty red wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, thyme, and basil (in any combination)
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle or other chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons spicy seasoned salt (like chipotle sea salt)
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  •  
    For The Grilled Avocado

  • 12 fresh avocado slices
  • Balsamic vinegar, for brushing on the avocado slices
  • Spicy seasoned salt, for sprinkling on the avocado slices
  • 12 bacon slices, pre-cooked
  • 6 rolls of choice, split (we prefer brioche or whole grain rolls)
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 6 large tomato slices (1/4-inch thick)
  •  

    original-blue-crackers-230

    Point Reyes blue cheese, made north of San Francisco, is a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. We can’t get enough of it (and all of the creamery’s products).

     

    Preparation

    Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

    1. MAKE the caramelized onions: Combine the onion, pepper sauce, broth, vinegar, oil, garlic and brown sugar in a 10-inch nonstick, fire-proof skillet. Cover with a lid and place on the grill rack. Cook the onion mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the pan and set aside.

    2. MAKE the cheese spread: Combine the cheeses in a fire-proof saucepan, cover and set aside.

    3. MAKE the patties: Combine the chuck, sirloin, onion, Zindandel, herbs, pepper sauce and seasoned salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties to fit the rolls. When the grill is ready…

    4. BRUSH the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once until done to preference (5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium). Meanwhile…

     
    5. PLACE the saucepan with the cheese spread on the outer edge of the rack to warm the cheese mixture, just until it reaches a very soft, spreadable consistency. Remove the the saucepan from the grill and set aside. During the final minutes of grilling the patties…

    6. BRUSH the avocado slices with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a seasoned salt. Arrange on a rimmed nonstick perforated grilling pan coated lightly with oil, and grill alongside the patties for 1 to 2 minutes, turning as necessary.

    7. ADD the bacon slices to the pan during the final 30 seconds of grilling the patties. When the avocados are nicely grilled and the bacon is crisp, remove from the grill. When the patties are cooked, remove from the grill, stacking to keep them warm.

    8. PLACE the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

    9. ASSEMBLE the burgers: Spread a generous amount of the cheese mixture over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a tomato slice, a patty, an equal portion of the caramelized onions, 2 avocado slices and 2 bacon slices. Add the roll tops and serve.

    It’s worth the effort!

    Tips To Make A Better Burger

      

    Comments

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