June 29, 2011
More hot dog recipes

Once again, we had more recipes than space in this week's Food & Wine section, so wanted to share some additional recipes that didn't fit. These are for today's story on how to elevate your hot dog:

Roast red pepper relish (peperonata)
Yields approximately 2 cups
This recipe was created by chef Adam Pechal of Tuli Bistro and Restaurant THIR13EN


1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups roasted red bell peppers, julienned
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1 teaspoon chili flake, (or more or less depending on your spice level)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablepsoons parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil and garlic to a small saucepan and heat over medium high. Watch closely as the garlic will quickly begin to toast and can burn quickly.
When the garlic is golden brown, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
Can be served hot or cold.


Bratwurst "Hot Tub"
From "Planet Barbecue" by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Serves 4 to 6
Note: The brats can be grilled up to two hours ahead. That's the point.


12 Wisconsin bratwurst
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
4 tablespoons salted butter
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
2 bottles of beer (3 cups), preferably Wisconsin beer

For serving:

12 crusty rolls, like semmel rolls or kaiser rolls
Hot or sweet German-style mustard
3 cups sauerkraut

You'll also need: 1-1/2 cups hickory, oak or other wood chips, soaked in water or beer to cover for 1 hour, then drained (optional), bamboo skewers (preferably flat), a large aluminum foil pan (like a turkey roaster)

Smoke-roasting (indirect grilling) method:

Note: This is not traditional, but to me there is no better way to cook bratwurst or any sausage. Indirect grilling crisps the casing, keeps the brat moist, and eliminates the risk of burning and flare-ups, while the wood smoke adds a haunting dimension of flavor.

Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (350 degrees F). Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the brats on the grate over the drip pay away from the heat.Toss the wood chips on the coals. Indirect grill the brats until crusty and golden brown on the outside and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Use an instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness--insert it in one end to the center of the brat--it should read 165 degrees.There is no need to turn the brats--remember, you're indirect grilling.

Direct grilling method:

Note: This is the traditional way a Wisconsonite cooks bratwurst. The secret is to work over a moderate heat, leave yourself a large safety zone in case you get flare-ups, and take pains not to pierce the casing, thereby releasing the tasty and flavorful juices. To do this, always use tongs and never a barbecue fork for turning the brats.

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium. Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the brats on the grate over the fire, leaving 1 inch between each. Direct grill the brats until crusty and golden on the outside and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Again, use an instant read meat thermometer inserted through one end to test for doneness.

As the brats cook, skewer the onion slices on bamboo skewers. Melt the butter in the large foil pan. Lightly brush the onion slices with melted butter (you'll need about 1 tablespoon) and season with salt and pepper. Direct grill the onions until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (If working on a grill set up for indirect grilling, place the onions directly over one of the mounds of coals.) Add the onions to foil pan with the butter, removing and discarding the skewers.

Add the beer to foil and boil it for 3 minutes. Move it to a cooler part of the grill so it stops boiling. As the bratwurst are done, add them to the pan with the beer. Position the pan at the rear or side of your grill so that the beer and brats stay warm, but don't quite boil. Boiling will overcook them. Thus nestled in their hot tub, the brats will stay warm and moist for up to an hour or two--enough time for you to cook them ahead of time, imbue them with the flavor of smoke and fire, and enjoy them during the game.

To serve the brats, slather the roll with mustard. You can butter and grill it if you like--most Wisconsinites wouldn't bother. Add a brat, some grilled onion, and sauerkraut if desired. Take a bite and get ready for some of the best sausage on Planet Barbecue.

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