“This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of Ball Park® brand. The opinions and text are all mine.” (Check out their record breaking Grillathon for the longest-running group BBQ!)
I love to grill, and to eat grilled food. All to often we can get into a rut where we eat the same things over and over. I must admit how guilty I am of this! I make the same food day and day out for myself, my family and we get completely burned out on those foods. I find myself returning though to the tried a true favorites of the summer and that is sausages on the grill or hot dogs as we like to call them.
I don’t like many kinds of hot dogs, I think you have to be careful which ones you buy as they tend to have fillers and by products in them that do not make for good eats. However, Ball Park’s Parks Finest is a quality frankfurter that contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives and is 100% all beef hot dog. Believe me when I tell you that this is a quality frankfurter. I was shopping and picking up some things I needed from the store and I saw a Ball Park’s Parks Finest that I had never tried before. It was the Slow Smoked Hickory Variety. I love a good sausage flavor so I picked up a pack and headed home.
Now whenever you grill out the thing that really makes the BBQ are the sides you make to go with it. But I thought hey why do I need sides, when I can put toppings on these delicious dogs!!! So I set out to make the ultimate toppings that would normally be sides at a BBQ but I was determined to put them on the hot dog itself. I wanted to elevate mine and my families hot dog experience. As I was concocting my plan I decided that I would take my family’s taste buds on an international adventure by making two different side toppings to go on top of these delectable frankfurters. I was going to make Mexican Mac and Cheese and Asian Coleslaw. Now since I cook a lot, I have most of the ingredients for these dishes in my pantry. If I am buying different spices that I don’t normally use, I will try and plan several meals around those spices so I get my money’s worth out of them and don’t feel like I have wasted money.
I gathered all my ingredients, the two mexican cheeses for my mac and cheese, butter, flour, and milk. I also pulled out coleslaw mix the already pre-shredded kind and retrieved the spices and seasonings I needed. So lets tackle the Mexican Mac and Cheese first.
If you have every made a roux or gravy, or scratch mac and cheese, this is basically the same process. You want equal parts flour and butter. Now for this I wanted the spices to get toasty so I added those in as well. I placed four tbs of butter into the pan over medium low heat, with 1 finely chopped or grated onion, along with salt, cumin, red pepper flakes and black pepper. I allowed it to cook until the onions were soft. Then you add in the flour allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes to cook out all the raw flour taste. Whisk in the milk stirring constantly as your pour in the milk. Please don’t use fat free here, the roux just won’t come out correctly. 2% if you must but no fat free please! 🙂 Once the sauce has thickened, when it sticks to your spoon, and you can run your finger down the spoon and the line stays clean. If your sauce gets too thick just thin it out with a little more milk. Add in cheeses and allow to melt. The are several kinds of mexican cheeses to choose from here. I chose to use queso fresco and queso blanco. Now little did I know that queso fresco does not melt!!! It will if you cook it low and slow for a long time. It was a happy accident because it worked out well for the topping of the hot dogs. I would probably use 16oz of queso blanco the next time. Both of these cheese are mild in flavor, which allows the cumin to shine through. You can add a bit of cheddar if you like.
For the Warm Asian Coleslaw, its a one pot dish that is delicious on its own but elevated your hot dog experience and pair perfectly with the Slow Smoked Hickory flavor of Ball Park’s Parks Finest frankfurters. You will need pre shredded cabbage/slaw mix from the store, one diced onion, some sesame oil, ginger paste, or fresh ginger and soy sauce. Seriously that’s it. You can add ground beef if you like, to make it a complete meal on its own, or you can leave it out. I like to get one bag of regular coleslaw mix, and one bag of angel hair shredded cabbage. This is a tasty low carb option to top your dog with.
To make a completely low carb option instead of using a bun to put the dog in, I hollowed out a medium zucchini and grilled, to a little past al dente, still al dente enough to hold together, but soft enough to eat. It really give you that bun in mouth feel when you take a bite, so you don’t miss the bun at all. Plus you are getting protein and veggie in one bite!
These toppings would be nothing with out the great tasting dog underneath. The quality of the hot dog shines through in every way and marries well with these international flavors. You can take something that your family is tired and burned out on and raise it to a whole new level with these side toppings. What are some of your favorite toppings you like to put on top of your delicious dogs? Give all of Ball Park’s Park Finest hot dogs a try today! Also check out their record breaking Grillathon for the longest-running group BBQ! No matter which one you choose, you will have a tasty meal!
1 package of Ball Park’s Park Finest of Slow Smoke Hickory Frankfurters
Hot dog buns
1 package of shredded coleslaw
1 package of angel hair shredded cole slaw
Warm Asian Coleslaw
2 tsp of sesame oil
1 tbs of ginger paste of finely diced fresh ginger
2 tbs or to taste soy sauce
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
optional: 1 packet of truvia
optional: 1 lb of ground beef
Mexican Mac and Cheese
1 finely diced onion
4 tbs of butter
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of black pepper
2 1/2 cup of milk
4 tbs of flour
8oz of queso blanco shredded
8 oz of queso fresco crumbled
(Note: I would use two queso blancos or another better mexican melting cheese)
optional: 4 oz of cheddar if desired.
1 box of elbow macaroni noodles.
1 medium zucchini with center hollowed out
cheese for topping if desired
Mexican Mac and Cheese:
In a deep skillet place butter and onion along with spices and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then whisking add in all the milk and whisk until thoroughly combined. Keep stirring and when mixture has thickened add in cheeses. Once cheeses have melted remove from heat. Meanwhile in a pot bring to boil salted water for macaroni noodles and cook according to desired doneness, or following box directions. Once elbows are al dente remove from water and add into cheese sauce. Set aside. You can stir in some cilantro if you like.
Warm Asian Slaw
In a skillet combine all ingredients and cook until soft. If using ground beef cook it first with onion and spices, when that is completely cooked through then add in the slaw mixes and cook until desired tenderness.
Top these delectable dog with these amazing sides and you will have a tasty frankfurter sure to please anyone!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ball Park. The opinions and text are all mine.