The Dog Days of Summer
Five perfect hot dogs are paired with five beautiful dogs for these hot and frisky 'dog days' of late July.
All photos by Jack Newton
Man, it's a hot one. Ever wondered why they're called "the dog days of summer?"
Is it because of how the heat of July makes us languidly lounge on our porches like our canine companions? Or because our tongues wag as we try to stay cool by slipping in and out of pools and keeping a gallon jug of margaritas on hand at all times? Maybe it's because of the proliferation of tubular meats that grace our grills on these scorching days?
The answer, actually, is none of the above.
The dog days of summer are called such because of Sirius, the star that ancient Greeks and Romans considered Orion's "dog." In late July, Sirius rises just before the sun—and these "dog days," typically among the hottest of the year, are still part of our contemporary vocabulary, although few know the historical origin of the term.
But even knowing all this, let's be honest: the two most important types of dogs most of us encounter in the summer are of the domesticated animal variety and the delicious, edible sort. That's why it only made sense that we bring these two worlds of dogs together, thanks to the folks at Social Tees NYC, a New York City-based animal rescue organization who shared five of their rescued and adoptable pups with us for a very doggie day. Check out Social Tees' website or Instagram page to see more of their dogs (and other animals) who are looking for their forever homes.
As for the rest of these dogs... well, you can make them at home right now.
Our Elote Dog starts with the creamy, cheesy, spicy grilled corn known as elote in Mexico, where it's a popular street food. In this case, we'll boil the corn and grill the dog, but don't worry—we'll still include all of that good-good that makes elote so popular and classic: cotija cheese, mayo, lime, ancho chile powder, and cilantro.
RECIPE: Elote Dog
Wouldn't you get that dreamy look, too, if you were looking at a juicy hot dog wrapped in rice, nori, and Spam? In Hawaii, Spam in sushi is the most normal (and delicious) thing in the world; sometimes, two salty, savory meats are better than one (and the rice vinegar in the sushi rice keeps it cool).
RECIPE: Spam Musubi Hot Dog
The only thing we could think of doing to improve this classic Vietnamese sandwich was to add a hot dog, and we aren't mad about it. This dog is served on a baguette spread with pâté, and topped with cucumber, cilantro, mint, and pickled carrots and daikon.
RECIPE: Banh Mi Hot Dog
For the more-is-more pup in your life, this hot dog is topped with... well... everything. Seriously. There's a mini burger, a slice of watermelon, macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, and corn—all you need to do is bring a six-pack, and the rest of the barbecue is right in your hand.
RECIPE: Everything But the Grill Hot Dog
Sometimes, you're so hungry that you get a bit of a thousand-yard stare, like our friend above. These are the times when you need your hot dog to serve as two meals in one. For those occasions—in addition to the Everything But the Grill Dog—may we recommend a Hot Dog Parmesan? Part pizza, part parmigiana, this easy-to-assemble recipe starts with ciabatta instead of a standard bun, and is loaded with tomato sauce, melted mozzarella, fresh basil, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan. That's one hot dog.
RECIPE: Hot Dog Parmesan
Just don't forget to keep these superb hot dogs out of reach of those other dogs—they won't be able to resist them, either. Cheers to Sirius, the biggest dog of them all.