While we’re talking about grilling, I have a confession to make: even with all the backlash against processed food I still love a hot dog once in a while. There. I said it. For me they’re still a salty, ketchup & mustard-slathered taste of summer in the backyard, and while I wouldn’t eat one every day – everything in moderation – there are times when a hotdog really hits the spot.
Especially, I might add, when you’ve dressed them up and transformed them into something borderline grown-up with a unique preparation and a delicious sauce like this Apricot Mostarda. The June issue of Food & Wine magazine is my source, and it probably reveals something when the simplest, most down-home recipe in a magazine full of lush, gorgeous, elegant options is the one I immediately gravitated to.
It might have something to do with the accessibility of the ingredients – I literally had every, single item for the sauce in my pantry already, which meant all I had to do was pick up a package of hotdogs and hunt down some Martin’s potato rolls. I will also admit that the idea of “spiralizing” a hotdog when everyone else is preparing cascades of luminously green zucchini pasta appeals to my sense of humor (video demo here.) So, thanks for that Food & Wine!
Apricot Mostarda (yield: 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 cup (6 ounces) diced dried apricots
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons (1 medium) finely minced shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons (1 clove) finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, apricots, sugar, shallot and garlic and bring to a boil.
Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are soft and coated in a light syrup, about 7 to 10 minutes. The liquid will reduce and the consistency should be flowing, but thick - think somewhere between honey and salsa.
Stir in both mustards and season with salt to taste. Let cool completely. Stir in tablespoons of water before serving if the mostarda is too thick.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
Oh, yes! I used a small sauce pan, medium cutting board, chef’s knife, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoons and a rubber spatula. A clean jam jar makes a great storage vessel. For the hotdogs I also needed a long bamboo skewer, 8” cast iron pan, and since I wanted to toast the potato rolls, a butter knife and a baking sheet.
In all seriousness, the Apricot Mostarda is delicious - lightly sweet, zippy with vinegar, and just a little spicy - trust me when I say that I am already plotting other foods to pair it with as alternate to chutney. The apricot pieces and whole grain mustard add beautiful texture, and in this case it’s perfect with the savory hotdog and fluffy potato rolls. I also am converted to spiralizing my hotdogs (or sausages, as the spirit moves you) they cook more quickly and all those little notches capture toppings perfectly.