The 4th of July is a federal holiday in the U.S. celebrating the unanimous adoption of The Declaration of Independence in 1776. This day is typically celebrated with parades, concerts, fireworks and of course, food…picnics, cookouts or BBQ’s. One of the quintessential foods is hot dogs, with Americans consuming 150 million every year on the Fourth.
There is a legend that our obsession with hot dogs began with the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest that has been held every year since 1916. But, in reality it has just been good marketing by the hot dog industry as the hot dog eating contest didn’t begin until 1972.
As a child, we always had a picnic with hot dogs, my Mom’s mustard mashed potato salad (the best), watermelon and homemade ice cream. But to be honest, I can eat a good hot dog anytime. Now there are lots of ways to top a hot dog…ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, sauerkraut, chili, cheese and I sometimes even put salsa on mine.
There is even a specific type of dog in Chicago. This dog is ‘topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. (Rumor has it that ketchup is illegal in Chicago, lol.) The complete assembly of a Chicago hot dog is said to be "dragged through the garden" due to the many toppings.’
One of my favorite ways to top a dog is with chili, cheese & white onions. Hence the inspiration for my Fourth of July Sunday Creation: Chili Cheese Dog Pizza…my pan crust was a perfect alternative to a bun and then I topped it with a can of Hormel Chili without beans, cheddar cheese, grilled Nathan’s All Beef Hot Dogs, mozzarella and white onions.
Thursday Doughday: Pizza Potpie…A deep dish pizza cooked like a pot pie then turned upside down…filled with mozzarella, Italian sausage, mini pepperoni, green peppers, onions, red sauce and provolone cheese…
I know that fruit on pizza can be quite controversial, especially pineapple. Since beginning this pizza journey, I have topped pizza with pineapple, apples and pears, strawberries and blueberries. This week I thought I would try a savory pizza with raspberries. They are one of my favorite berries, so here is Friday Pieday: Raspberry Jalapeño and Pancetta Pizza…my pan crust topped with a raspberry and jalapeño sauce, Brie, pancetta, fresh raspberries, mozzarella and garnished with arugula.
The next few weeks I am going to continue to put fruit on pizza.
Anyone care to take a guess what I might try next?