You Grilled Them; Now What?

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17 May 2012
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Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or website.

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to dust off (or seriously clean) the grill in preparation for BBQ season. While many tout the joys of chicken, ribs and burgers on the grill, I’m still a huge fan of hot dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get to the chicken ribs and burgers later in the grilling season, but for now I’m reacquainting myself with the grill by keeping menus simple with…hot dogs.

Over the years hot dogs have gotten a bad rap. Too many mystery ingredients, sodium nitrite and MSG as well as high amounts of fat have led to the production of chicken and turkey dogs, as well the vegetarian variety. I say they’re all good, as long as you practice moderation in your eating choices. One or two every couple of weeks is fine (if your cholesterol levels are okay); one or two every day, not so much.

I’m a purist and go for the grilled variety, but whatever way you choose to cook them (boil, broil or–yeech–microwave) for me, it’s all about the toppings.

The classics are, in no particular order: grilled onions, relish, mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, peppers, pickles and even chili. All good.

But in my kitchen, I’m always trying update and reinvent and go worldwide in my quest for new and exotic condiments. Kosher breakfast beef, hummus, guacamole or pizza sauce have graced my table as well as dogs topped with pareve tzatziki (Greek cucumber sauce) and chopped olives. Wasabi infused mayonnaise with sautéed onion and garlic is also a big favorite by us. It is, however, followed by a breath mint or five. But so worth it.

Think outside the topping box with these fun and creative hot dog toppings, and take your hot dogs on a road trip from the every day to spectacular.

Cucumber Salsa (pareve)

This salsa keeps for a few weeks.

Yields 2 to 3 cups, depending on the size vegetables



  1. In bowl, combine the cucumbers, red bell peppers, onions, celery, and jalapeno peppers. Add the salt and cover the vegetables with cold water. Let sit for 2 hours, then drain well, pushing down to get the water out.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds and dill seeds and bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables and cook 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Cool and then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 to 5 hours.
  5. Remove from fridge, add a little pepper, mix to combine and then serve.

Submitted by Ralph Niterman of Chicago, IL.

Classic Tzatziki Sauce (pareve)

Yields Approx. 2 cups



  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend.

My files, source unknown.

Garlic Ketchup (pareve)

Yields 1½ cups



  1. In a skillet, saute the bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil. When they are soft remove them from the heat and let cool for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. In a bowl combine the ketchup and garlic mixture and season to taste with the hot sauce.

My files, source unknown.

Sweet Onion Sauce (pareve)

Yields 2 cups


  1. In a skillet, combine the onion, garlic and sugar. Add the olive oil and saute.
  2. When onions are softened and limp but not mushy add the pizza sauce, oregano and paprika. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

My files, source unknown.

Corn Salsa (pareve)

Yields 1½ to 2½ cups



  1. In a bowl, combine the corn, bell pepper, green onion and celery. Mix to combine.
  2. In microwaveable bowl combine the vinegar with the sugar. Cook for 1 minute or just until the sugar dissolves. Remove and pour the mixture over the vegetables.
  3. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until the mixture is cooled.

Modified from Food & Wine, June 2006.

Fairground Corn Dogs (meat)

While these are not “on the grill” kind of hot dogs, reader Marilyn Docker asked me to find the best “get it at a fair” corn dog recipe she could make at home. This is what I came up with. Be warned: not only is it deep fried, it’s deeply delicious.



  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365°F. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the 2 Tablespoons of oil.
  2. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, rice or almond milk and baking soda. Mix until everything is smooth and well blended.
  3. Pat the hot dogs dry with paper towels so that the batter will stick. Insert wooden sticks into the ends. Dip the hot dogs in the batter one at a time, shaking off the excess.
  4. Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil until they are as brown as you like them.
  5. Drain on paper towels or serve on paper plates.

Modified from

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking: Cuisine by Eileen.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.