We wanted to make a good all-American meal for 4th of july, and what’s more American than hot dogs and potato salad? Instead of buying veggie dogs at the store as we’ve done before, we gave these homemade ones a try. No one knows what a hot dog is made of anyway, but if you make your own, especially a vegan one, you don’t have to worry about that.
There were a bunch of steps, but worth the effort. They were filled with so many spices that gave them an authentic hot dog flavor. The vital wheat gluten made it the right texture, too. We rolled them up in parchment paper and aluminum foil (using up quite a bunch of both of those), then had to steam them. That was the trickiest part, since we don’t have a steamer basket. We MacGyvered it by throwing a few balls of tin foil into the bottom of a big soup pot, adding water to just below the tops of the tin foil balls, and placing a metal bowl full of the wrapped hot dogs on top. There was enough room to put the lid on and steam just like regular. After steaming, we grilled the ones we were going to eat in a pan and saved the rest in the fridge to grill later. Then put it on a bun with all of our favorite toppings. Tastes just like 4th of July. The liquid smoke made it taste like it was grilled outside at a bbq with a good smokey flavor.
The potato salad was not as successful. We tried a different recipe from the usual creamy vegenaise-covered potato salad. It is from this cookbook I have that is focused on party food. All the recipes we’ve tried from that book so far are a little bit weird, and this was no exception, but everything looks so interesting that we keep trying them. Since it meant for a party, we cut the recipe in half, but then it seemed like not enough. This recipe is unique - it used the spices and juice from a leftover pickle jar to give the potatoes flavor. Once the dressing was all mixed together, it was surprisingly un-pickle-y for a pickle flavored salad, so we added a bunch more juice and spices. Another weird part was that you had to cook green onions in a pot on the stove. I’ve only ever had green onions raw, I didn’t know anyone ever cooked green onions. This was an especially unusual cooking process. It was also supposed to have celery leaves and sesame seeds mixed in, but we couldn’t find celery leaves anywhere and seeds seems a weird addition. In the end, although the recipe said to serve it warm, we thought it tasted better as it cooled off. It tasted mostly like pickles and mustard, which I guess is what the recipe suggests, but we expected more. It was fine, but too much work for something we didn’t enjoy a ton.
At least the hot dogs were great, and we’ll definitely make those again.
from Baked In
make 8 dogs
-5 tbsp almond meal
-9 oz. firm tofu
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-3 tbsp veggie oil
-1/2 medium onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp smoked paprika OR several generous dashed liquid smoke
-1 + 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
-1 tsp salt
-3/4 tsp ground black pepper
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1 tsp ground mustard
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground cardamom
-1 tsp cumin
-1 + 1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
-1 tsp cornstarch
1. Crumble tofu into the bowl of a food processor
2. In a liquid measuring cup, measure the 2 tbsp soy sauce and add enough water to get to the 100 mL line. Add to food processor.
3. Add almond meal, oil, onion, garlic, paprika/liquid smoke, sugar, salt, pepper, coriander, mustard, nutmeg, cardamom, and cumin to food processor and pulse until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
4. Add vital wheat gluten and cornstarch to the mixture and stir to combine. Knead gently - the mixture will be soft but you’l see strands of gluten forming.
5. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into a hot dog shape. Wrap each dog in parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Twist ends of foil shut.
6. In a large pot with a steamer insert or basket, bring enough water to just under the steamer to a boil. Arrange hot dogs in the steamer - close together is fine and its okay if they’re touching.
7. Cover and steam for 45 minutes. Turn off heat and cool in the pot, uncovered.
8. To cook, unwrap hot dogs and simmer in water for five minutes, or fry in a frying pan, or throw them on the grill.
9. Serve on buns with your favorite hot dog toppings.
Pickle Jar Potato Salad
adapted from Lust for Leaf
serves 8 - 10
-2 - 3 green onions
-6 tbsp jar pickle juice
-4 tbsp grain mustard
-1 tbsp ground coriander
-4 tbsp olive oil
-2 lbs potatoes
1. Chop green onions and add to a small saucepan. Cover with cool water and place on medium heat. Once you hit a boil, lower to a simmer and cook another 5 - 8 mins.
2. Strain green onions and combine in a blender with pickle brine (including seeds and herbs from jar), mustard, and coriander. Pulse and slowly drizzle 3 tbsp of oil. Taste dressing and either salt or add more brine as you like. Set aside.
3. Slice potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to a pot of cool, salted water on high heat. As soon as you hit a legitimate boil, remove potatoes from the water.
4. Finish them in a large saute pan. Add remaining oil and saute for several mins. Potatoes are done once slightly browned and easy to bite.
5. Combine potatoes with dressing in a bowl. Add black pepper to taste. Serve warm.