3 Extremely Weird (But Totally Tasty!) Ways to Use a Hot Dog

Because ketchup and mustard can get kind of boring.

You know how, at every BBQ, there’s always that one person over the age of 12 who opts for a hot dog over a fancy homemade hamburger? Yeah, that’s me. Boiled, grilled or tossed in the microwave for 45-seconds, hot dogs have a long-standing place on my list of favourite foods. I’d love to claim that my affinity for frankfurters is rooted in nostalgia—and you know what, it very well may be—but mostly, I just love the taste. (The snap, the softness, the surprising sweetness…I could go on all day.)

Which is why #NationalHotDogDay is a holiday I’m happy to recognize. What’s the best way to celebrate the occasion? You could throw your dog in a bun or add it to a bowl of Kraft Dinner—or, try one of these wacky hot dog recipes. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Lentil, Kale & Hot Dog Hash

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4-6 people as a hearty side dish

Styling Tips: This one actually looks great in a white bowl (there is a lot of colour). I think if the hot dogs are cut on a diagonal they look nicer for this dish.

Ingredients:
– 5 Maple Leaf Top Dogs, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick on a diagonal
– 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1⁄4”-1⁄2’ cubes
– 1⁄2 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
– 1 520ml can of cooked lentils, drained (equivalent to 2 cups)
– 1 small bunch Tuscan kale (equivalent to about 4 cups), ribs removed and finely sliced
– 1⁄2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
– 2 sprigs thyme (1 tsp thyme leaves)
– 2 Tbsp cooking oil
– Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Once your oil is hot, add the onions, celery, carrots and sweet potatoes and cook for about 6-7 minutes (or until everything is softened).

Add the hot dogs, garlic, thyme leaves, and sauté for about one minute. Add the chopped kale to the skillet and continue cooking until the kale wilts. Add the cooked lentils and sauté until the lentils are combined with the kale and sweet potato mixture and warmed through.

Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve immediately.

Hawaiian Hot Dog Kebobs

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 16-18 6” Skewers

Styling Tips: These look great just laid out on a white plate because they are colourful with extra sweet chili sauce on the side. They could also look great served inside a hollowed out pineapple or skewered into a whole pineapple.

Ingredients:
– 1 pack Maple Leaf Top Dogs BBQ Format, cut into 1-1/2″ segments (Equivalent to 2 cups)
– 2 cups fresh pineapple, cored, skin removed and cut into 1-1/2″ chunks
– 1/2 red onion, cut into 1-1/2″ chunks
– 1 cup sweet chili sauce
– 18 Grill safe skewers

Directions:
Set up your station to assemble the skewers. Put each ingredient in its own bowl and have a casserole dish ready to set the assembled skewers.

Begin by skewering pineapple, onion, and hot dogs on grill-safe skewers and repeating the pattern until you reach the end of your skewer. Put the assembled kebobs into a casserole dish and continue to create your skewers until all of the ingredients are used up. Baste all sides of the skewers with sweet chili sauce using a cooking brush.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Carefully place skewers on hot grill. Barbecue for about 10 minutes, flipping every few minutes to cook all sides. Remove the skewers from the grill and place on a clean plate.

You may baste the hot kebabs with additional sweet chili sauce if desired.

Tomato Bruschetta Dog

Serves: 8 portions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Flavour tips: For a spicy bruschetta dog, top with pickled hot peppers.

Ingredients:
– 8 Maple Leaf Top Dogs
– 1 package of hot dog buns
– 1 cup bruschetta mix
– 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Grill hot dogs according to package directions.

Assemble hot dogs in buns and top evenly with bruschetta, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Return to grill over medium-low heat.

Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.