Monday, October 28, 2013

Play with Your Food: Banana Ketchup on a Hot Dog and the Roasted Mushroom Mayhem


Go Talk to a Chair, Clint.

Ordinarily, I have my hot dog standard of mustard*, and maybe some chopped onions. I prefer steamed to grilled, but grilled works too. I'd eat either of those combinations while watching kind-hearted souls push a beached whale's carcass toward a grasping sea.

That's my summer pal on the grill or at the ball park, making me as regular as the next guy, unless the next guy is from Chicago. I'm no Dirty Harry when it comes to my dog. While ketchup doesn't ordinarily touch my dog, I will always make an exception for my childhood creation of peanut butter and ketchup on a dog. Don't laugh, and don't knock it until you've tried it. Experimentation. Check it out. Responsibly.

Humble Beginnings
So it was that I found myself bored with my standard dog while steaming my last wiener of the year. Back Story: I try to keep the space monkey lips and assholes that hot dogs are made of restricted to summer to avoid the butt cancer and to keep me from turning into some grotesque hot dog man. Mostly to prevent the Rise of Hot Dog Man. Mostly.

*coughs*

How do squash my boredom? Well, there was that roasted banana ketchup I'd made recently. It was crazy with the spices. It was wacky with The Good. That would certainly liven things up, I'd thought, but what about adding some of that tasty cole slaw I'd brought back from a recent visit to R&D Kitchen? Hmmm, the combo sounded good, and what of a side? Pickles? Bah! Eschewing the humdrum I remembered the mushrooms I'd roasted in olive oil, garlic and butter along with some sprouts o' Brussels the night before. I'd made them in an effort to salvage a Wee Wonder-requested spaghetti and turkey meatballs dinner extrava-not-so-much. It had worked, but, as they say at America's Test Kitchen, "would it work with my wiener"*?

Mmmm, Blurry Mushrooms
After getting the mushrooms all olive oil-y and then pinch-tossing a pinch of salt, I'd added some smashed garlic cloves to the oven safe bowl and then topped the whole thing with pats of unsalted butter. Next it all went into a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until the mushrooms were forkin' tender.

Abstract Berkely Hot Tub Party with Fur Burritos
Well, the mushrooms that had pulled out a potentially boring box-and-jar spaghetti dinner had also created an interesting side for my flavorful doggy-dog, dog. I paired it with an Anchor Big Leaf Maple red ale. It is fall, after all. Get some. See you next summer with some more wiener jokes!

"Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful"
*Mustards may vary. I usually have eight or more varieties handy. My usual hot dog condiment is the classic Bertman from the old days of Cleveland baseball, but I've been known to use Dijon, Mendocino honey mustard, whole grain, and even hot Chinese mustard.

Be Ye Aware: Like your book and music collections I judge your condiments.

** We love America's Test Kitchen. We do.