BY CAMILLE ORRICHIO LOCCISANO
When I was a little girl, my aunt Mary and her family lived on Senator Street in Bay Ridge, and she hosted a huge annual Fourth of July party. The center of any holiday in my Italian-American family was always a combination of love and food, and Independence Day was no different.
I can still recall my uncles dedicated to the serious business of barbecuing for dozens of guests. The savory smells of seasoned chicken, zesty sausages and mouth-watering burgers ruled the day, and in the evening we would all climb up to Aunt Mary’s rooftop to watch the fireworks display bursting in the summer evening sky.
My father and uncles always made sure that sparklers were on hand, and they especially saw to it that I had my favorite barbecue treat, a good old-fashioned American hot dog.
As an adult, I still enjoy a hot dog now and then, and I highly recommend organic. The flavor is superior, and they are much healthier for us. The following recipe is one of my many ways to serve hot dogs.
A festive topping of onions with rich flavors turns an ordinary hot dog into a fulfilling item for any outdoor party. You will find that your guests can’t stop at one. Happy Independence Day!
GRILLED HOT DOGS AND SPICY ONIONS
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large Spanish onions, sliced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
8 hot dogs, grilled
8 hot dog buns, toasted
In a sauté pan, warm canola oil and butter over medium heat. Add Spanish onions and chipotle, and cook until onions are tender. Stir in salt, pepper, sugar and ketchup, and allow flavors to combine. Toss in cilantro. Assemble hot dogs in toasted buns. Add a generous portion of onions to each hot dog.