hot dogs
Photo: Cristina Ferrare
The fourth of July is a special day for celebration, and what a better way to spend it than having a huge barbecue? We barbecue practically the whole meal. Corn, veggies, savory ribs, moist chicken, spicy Italian sausages, juicy hamburgers, marinated and tender flank steak and, of course, everyone's favorite: plump hot dogs! I normally don't eat hot dogs, except on the fourth of July, when I indulge in one—okay, maybe two—but not just any hot dog: Nate 'n Al's famous "special" hot dogs. They were named "Best Hot Dog" by Reader's Digest. Hollywood director Nora Ephron told the New York Times if she could have one final meal, it would be "a Nate 'n Al hot dog." Same for me, only I would throw in an In 'n Out burger!

My favorite part of enjoying this hot dog is when you bite into them. I love the way they snap and then you immediately taste just the right amount of seasonings. My personal favorite way to prepare them is to simply boil them in water until they are hot and plump and serve in a steamy bun with Dijon mustard and sauerkraut, New York style! My husband and kids love them charred on the grill served in soft buns. Any way you choose to have them, you are in for a treat.

Nate 'n Al "special" hot dogs are available for nationwide shipping their website.

Fourth of July Hot Dogs

Ingredients

  • 1 quart sauerkraut
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 Nat 'n Al hot dogs or all-beef hot dogs
  • 12 hot dog buns
  • Ketchup, Dijon or yellow mustard and sliced Kosher pickles, for garnish


To make the sauerkraut:

Heat a saucepan on high heat for 30 seconds. Add olive oil and onions. Turn the heat to medium and sauté the onions for 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, then add 1/2 cup water. Pour the whole quart of sauerkraut along with its juice into the saucepan. Turn the heat to medium low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Cover with a lid, remove from heat and set aside. Can be made up to 3 days before.

When you are ready to grill the hot dogs, heat up the sauerkraut.

Heat an indoor or outdoor grill for 20 minutes. Score the hot dogs with a small, sharp knife by slicing 3 to 4 shallow slashes. Place on a hot grill for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Serve with a helping of sauerkraut and your favorite condiments.

For dessert, try my American flag cake. It's perfect for this special occasion!

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