Saturday is the fifth of May. Cinco de Mayo, as it is commonly known, commemorates the Mexican Army's difficult victory over the French empire at the battle of Puebla on May 5, a long, long time ago. Most folks go out for tacos and margaritas on Cinco de Mayo, but we have it on good authority that the Mexican army celebrated with sausages grilled over live fire, and so should you.
Much of the preceding paragraph is completely untrue. We just liked this recipe because, one, it came from one of our favorite new grilling cookbooks, Food52 Any Night Grilling: 60 Ways to Fire Up Dinner (and More) by Paula Disbrowe and, two, it includes one of our favorite ingredients - may-o, which kind of sounds like Ma-yo.
That was the long way around, we know. Here's the recipe Make it for your friends on Saturday.
Hot Dog Night
Makes 8 hot dogs
For most of us, biting into a hot dog—the snap of crisp skin, juicy meat, spicy mustard—is an iconic summer pleasure. But grilling hot dogs at home is a no-brainer any night—they need only a few moments over medium-high heat, and the confluence of interesting condiments and other tasty components (toasted bun, cold beer) add up to a spectacular experience.
Start with the best-quality all-beef franks you can find. For me, that means organic, uncured, or grass-fed varieties from Certified Humane producers. It’s important to cook over moderate heat and keep your tongs in hand so you can keep those dogs moving. Cooking at too high a heat will result in split or scorched dogs.
8 all-beef hot dogs (preferably uncured organic or grass-fed)
8 hot dog buns, split
Condiments of choice (Celery Root Remoulade recipe follows below)
1. Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high. Carefully wipe the preheated grill grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.
2. Grill the hot dogs over direct heat until charred and heated through (they’ll turn a shade darker and look taut), 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside to rest while you toast the buns.
3. Serve immediately with your favorite condiments.
Celery Root Remoulade
In a bowl, whisk together 1⁄2 cup (110g) mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraîche, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (or 1⁄2 teaspoon celery seeds), and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Using a food processor, grate 1 peeled large celery root (you should have about 3 cups/270g) and combine with the dressing, tossing well to evenly coat. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as desired. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
The Secret to Plumper Dogs
To help prevent hot dogs from shriveling (and to create a delicious crispy texture, to boot), slice an X into each end. When the dogs hit the grill, these slits expand and allow the heat to permeate the meat more quickly, resulting in a shorter cooking time and a plumper, juicier dog. This is particularly helpful with higher-fat franks and fresh sausages (leaner dogs from grass-fed beef, for instance, need less cooking time and won’t plump as much).
“Reprinted with permission from Food52 Any Night Grilling: 60 Ways to Fire Up Dinner (and More) by Paula Disbrowe, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.”
Photography credit: James Ransom © 2018