Grilling time is here and who doesn't love a good hot dog? Sure, I try to eat a healthy diet but every once in a while just crave a good old fashioned grilled hot dog! Some of my very favorite hot dogs are homemade from D.A. Barsch German Butcher Shop in Toms River, NJ. If you are ever in the area it is a great place to check out - fabulous German sausages and cold cuts. They make a mean potato bratwurst!
I couldn't make it to the butcher so I picked up a pack of Trader Joe's all-natural no nitrate added hot dogs since they were giving out samples which were quite tasty. I got a nice cabbage in my CSA box and wanted to make grilled coleslaw from a recipe I found on foodandwine.com. The grilled coleslaw was fabulous and made for a fantastic hot dog topping along with some spicy Kosciusko mustard - my favorite!
Did you know that all-natural and organic hot dogs still contain nitrates? Manufacturers use celery juice and sea salt which are naturally high in nitrates to cure the hot dogs as opposed to chemically produced sodium nitrates. There was an interesting article on the subject in The New York Times. My takeaway is that all hot dogs are cured and contain nitrates. Are natural nitrates found in celery healthier? Is it worth extra to purchase no nitrate added products? Are nitrates really harmful? Nitrates come from nitrogen found int the air and soil... I'm not sure of the answer. The quality and source of the meat used may be the most important aspect of a good hot dog. I will continue to splurge on an occassional hot dog, emphasis on occasional, and will definitely make the grilled coleslaw again - anything in moderation!
Kristin Donnelly - Food and Wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 pickled jalapeños, seeded and minced, plus 2 teaspoons pickling liquid from the jar
1.Light a grill. Brush the cabbage wedges with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the cabbage over high heat until charred, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface. When the cabbage is cool enough to handle, finely slice it crosswise with a sharp knife.
2.In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the cider vinegar, jalapeños and pickling liquid. Add the shredded cabbage and toss well. Season the grilled coleslaw with salt and pepper and toss again.