hot dog party
Home Movies Tuesday!
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It’s the end of August, which you should know is both my favorite time of year and also the worst time of year. On the one hand: it’s time for Clam Pasta and the best produce of the year! Plump tomatoes, tart little sungolds, gorgeous herbs, corn corn corn, 84 types of eggplant and PEACHES NECTARINES BERRIES PLUMS WATERMELON CANTALOUPE! On the other hand, it’s too hot to go outside and enjoy yourself and you probably didn’t do enough fun summer things this year which means you’re out of chances to correct that fatal error and will live the rest of the year in REGRET.
Then again, the end of August also means: VIRGO SEASON:
To celebrate, we here at Home Movies (2/3 of us are VIRGOS) wanted to offer a tribute to the season’s most delicious bounty: HOT DOGS. And I know what some of you are thinking, and no this is not sponsored content (altho— Igloo! Call me!), just a simple mildly unhinged birthday wish for a girl to make hot dogs for some of her friends. We hope this inspires you to throw your own hot dog party, birthday or not.
Obviously, there doesn’t need to be a recipe for hot dogs, but in case you’re looking for some guidance on how to execute a flawless dog party, here are some TLDR suggestions:
If you lack a grill or outdoor space to host, public parks are a wonderful solution. In fact, I am now a *~person with a grill~* and still elected to host at the park, because frankly the park is prettier than my patio, can hold more people, and I can leave it when I want without being rude. If your park doesn’t have a “grill program” (lol), I love this lil’ Weber, which, for $50, is a worthy investment IMO.
Delegate! You’re in charge of hot dogs and your own favorite toppings (mustard, raw onions), so put your friends in charge of other things like ice, charcoal, seltzer, and chips. Avoid asking your flakiest friends to bring anything you need immediately— they might not show up, and THEN where will you be?
Bring multiple types of hot dogs, including meat-free/plant-based options. A hot dog party is basically an opportunity for a hot dog taste test, and if THAT doesn’t sound like the most fun a person could have, then I don’t know what. For regular style, I really loved the Brooklyn Hot Dog Company and Hebrew National varieties. For meat-free, I had a hard time finding hot dogs, but Beyond Sausage is widely available and honestly tastes p good.
Buns: Martin’s or nothing.
Toppings: You can’t please everyone, just do your best. And honestly, just bring the fucking mayo, it’s not worth the argument.
Unless you’re Cara Nicoletti I am presuming you’re not making your own hot dogs, so it’s nice to have like, 1-2 things that you DID make. When deciding what those things are, ask yourself: Can this sit outside, unrefrigerated for several hours? Will this taste good on a hot dog AND as a side and/or dip? Can this be made ahead of time? The answer to all three questions should be an enthusiastic YES. See below for two very good suggestions.
BE VACCINATED, HAVE FUN. If you’re not vaccinated, don’t even think about throwing a hot dog party, and please don’t come to mine. Also, this is not dinner and I’m not sure it even qualifies as lunch— it’s (and I can’t stress this enough): a hot dog party, which means, please for the love of god have fun. It’s a ridiculous concept, and if you for one second find yourself stressing out please repeat the mantra “THIS IS A HOT DOG PARTY, I’M HAVING FUN. THIS IS A HOT DOG PARTY, I’M HAVING FUN.” Life is heavy these days, let a few hours of hot dog party be a small reprieve.
tangy red cabbage salad
serves 6–10 people
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
2–3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
crushed red pepper flake or thinly sliced jalapeno or serrano (optional)
1. Toss cabbage in a large bowl with a generous seasoning of kosher salt. Using your hands, massage the cabbage, encouraging it to release some liquid, tenderize and soften.
2. Add the red onion and citrus juice and toss again. Season with crushed red pepper flakes and sumac, if using. Set aside while you prepare your other sides, tossing occasionally as it marinates. Taste and adjust seasonings with more salt, citrus and spice before serving.
DO AHEAD: Cabbage salad can be made 5 days ahead, stored wrapped, and refrigerated (it will soften as it sits, but still be extremely good).
sour cream and scallion dip
serves 6–10 people
4 cups sour cream, labne, full fat greek yogurt or some combination of the three
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
2–3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, scallions, garlic, and lemon juice. Season with salt and lots of cracked black pepper. Season with more lemon, salt and/or garlic if you like.
DO AHEAD: Dip can be made 1 week ahead, stored wrapped, and refrigerated.