Introduction: Hot "Carrot" Dogs
Whether you’re vegetarian, needing inspo for meatless Monday, or simply sick and tired of those dreadful, unnaturally orange, overprocessed ‘franks’ from the store - these fun, fresh, flavor packed carrot dogs are completely your thing! So, let’s get started!
For the caramelized onion you’ll need:
-500 grams of brown onions
-1 clove of garlic
-2 tsp of salt
-15 grams of soy sauce
-25 grams of balsamic vinegar
-50 grams of brown sugar
-25 grams of extra virgin olive oil
For the carrots you’ll need:
-4 medium carrots
-1/4 of pomegranate molasses or soy sauce
-2 tsp of smoked paprika
-2 garlic cloves
-1 Tbsp of thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
-1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
-1 tsp of salt
For the added extras you’ll need:
-1/2 a cup of mayonnaise
-1 Tbsp of pickle brine
-1 Tbsp of herb infused oil
-2 fresh sprigs of thyme
-1/4 tsp of salt
-1/4 tsp of sugar
-3 Tbsp of softened butter
-2 tsp of dried herbs
-1/4 tsp of garlic powder
-1/4 tsp of onion powder
-1/4 of cooked quinoa
-Gem lettuce leaves
-20 grams of fetta
-homemade caramelized onion
Step 1: Prepping the Onion
To start the caramelized onion, peel, halve and slice into half rings your 500 grams of onion
Step 2: Aromatics
Finely mince your garlic clove using a sharp knife and then add the garlic, onions, salt, and oil into a pan and cook on medium heat for 8-9 minutes, or until your onion resembles lightly browned limp worms.
Step 3: Caramelized
Once your onions have softened, add the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for a further 14 minutes on medium heat.
Step 4: Jarring Up
At this stage your onions should have caramelized into a brown, sticky and jam like mixture and reduced by about half. Remove your pan from the heat onto a heat proof mat and transfer your onions to a sealable jar. These onions can be stored for at least 6 weeks in the fridge.
Step 5: Hot “carrots”
To start the ‘hot dog’ (correction: carrots), place you 4 medium carrots into a large saucepan of salted water. Add to the heat and cook on medium/high heat for 25 minutes. To check if your carrots are cooked to perfection, simply insert a sharp kitchen knife into the center of one and if it slides through like cutting butter, you're good to go. If your carrots are still a tad firm in the middle, give them another 5-10 minutes until their structure resembles soft butter (not mushy tho!)
Step 6: Marinading
While waiting for your carrots to cook, lets prepare the marinade. Before you grab a deep dish that will fit your 4 carrots, carefully crush your two garlic cloves with the back of you knife to split them open to ensure full flavor in your marinade. Now you can combine the pomegranate molasses, paprika, crushed garlic, thyme leaves, and oil and stir to combine. Set aside until required.
Step 7: Tossing
Once your carrots are cooked through, transfer them from the heat to a heat proof mat and let cool for 5 minutes. This will ensure that you don’t get completely burned or fogged up (for those with glasses) by the steam from the hot carrots. Once cool enough to handle, grab some tongs, and transfer the hot carrots to the marinade and rolled them around to coat evenly.
Step 8: Chill Out
Once coated well, transfer the container to the fridge for 1-2 hours for the carrots to fully soak up the marinade (which is what make these organic carrots 100% times better than the processed ones from the store, no offence hot dog makers!)
Step 9: Additions
To start the assembly of the carrot dogs we’ll need some perfectly paired additions. Herbed mayo, fresh lettuce, crusty baguettes, or whatever you please! Like, honestly - these carrots couldn’t be more versatile! (Once again, this is what makes them drool worthily amazing)
With mine, I’m going to show you carrot dogs two ways, slightly Mediterranean (sort of) and the other, the good ol' traditional. Both of mine require a seriously good homemade herbed mayo, so let’s get started!
Step 10: Herbed Mayo
In a small bowl, combine ½ a cup of regular mayo (or make it if you have the time and patience!) 2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon of pickle brine, 1 tablespoon of herb infused olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Mix with a spoon until combined, refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 11: Baguette Time
Grab your baguette (little hint, I got a sourdough baguette, and it was a tad hard to bite through, so I would suggest getting a softer baguette or French stick type bread), and with a serrated knife, cut it into 4 sections length ways. Then cut each section down the middle to create a pocket for your carrot (try not to cut all the way through). To add some flavor, combine ¾ Tbsp of softened butter, ¼ teaspoon of onion powder, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of dries or fresh herbs in a bowl and spread onto the inside of each baguette.
Step 12: Quinoa
This is completely optional but it adds a bit of texture variation in your carrot dog. Cook up 1/3 of a cup of tri colour quinoa (plain is fine, but the tri colour one just looks cool) with around ½ a cup of water, you may need to add more water depending how fast it absorbs it. Cook for 10-12 min or until cooked to your liking.
Step 13: Grill Lines
To add those awesome grill lines that will make your carrot truly look like a freshly cooked sausage, heat up a ribbed skillet with a splash of oil (you can grill your carrots on the barbeque instead, it was too cold outside at our place, so I opted for the warmer option). Once hot, add your carrots and cook/warm them for around 10 minutes, or until grill lines appear on the outside of the carrot.
Step 14: Assembly Line
And now its finally time to assemble!! Grab your garlic butter baguettes, freshly grilled carrots, your herbed mayo, the homemade onion that we made way back in step 5, and a few other additions. For the traditional hot (carrot) dog, take two of your baguettes, lay a leaf of fresh gem lettuce, a few sandwich pickles, herbed mayo and finally placing your fresh grilled carrot on top. For a slight variation, grab the remaining two baguettes, generously slather with mayo, quinoa, and our caramelized onion and finally the grilled carrot on top.
And voila! You have yourself 4 wonderfully amazing fresh carrot dogs, full of flavor and ready to enjoy!
Runner Up in the