Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last Gasps of Summer: Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes and Local Mozzarella

You can feel it in the air now, this week. Fall is just about here. I shut all the windows and I'm just about ready to put the heavy blanket back on the bed. I'm not, however, ready to give up tomatoes. There are still tomatoes in the markets, and as long as they're around I will keep buying them. I'm getting excited about the delicata squash and the kale and the brussels sprouts. I like fall food! But I'm not ready to give up tomatoes.

We've got two more official days of summer. Go buy some heirloom tomatoes from your favorite farmer and while you're out, find some mozzarella made in your neighborhood. Slice them up, sprinkle on some flaky salt and good olive oil and whatever basil is left on your plants. Enjoy the tomatoes now because once they're gone it'll be months before they're back.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Last Gasps of Summer: Hot Dog Party!

Hot Dog Party!

Adam's birthday is at the end of August. It falls right around Labor Day and Boston's unofficial everyone-switch-apartments day but we usually squeeze in a get together. This year instead of a cookout, we had a hurricane tropical storm. Irene wasn't really so bad in our neck of the woods, we just sat on the couch and played a lot of cribbage. It felt like something was missing, though, so on Labor Day we had a little cookout.

We decided that instead of burgers and chicken and blah blah blah we'd keep the grilling focused on my personal favorite grilled food: the hot dog. (Let's be honest, hot dogs are up there in my top 5 favorite foods in all the land.) So to keep things interesting I went a little crazy on the condiments. Instead of a proper recipe today, I present several suggestions for awesome hot dogs.

The German Dog: homemade sauerkraut, whole grain mustard
The Kimchi Dog: chopped kimchi, sriracha if you're feeling spicy
The Chicago Dog: yellow mustard, sliced tomato, celery salt, kosher dill pickle spear, pickled banana peppers, chopped raw onion
The Nacho Dog: salsa (red or green, your choice), pickled jalapenos, monterey jack cheese, sour cream. If your husband happened to make corn tortillas for breakfast that morning, use one of those instead of a bun.
The Everything Dog: All of the above. Yeah, that happened.
The Classic: Yellow Mustard. Maybe relish.
The NIMBY: Ketchup. I didn't even put it out.

So, what do you put on your hot dog?