A good old-fashioned cooking competition is perfect for the long afternoons of summer. They are filled with great food, people sharing their specialties and are usually for a good cause. Featured ingredients such as strawberries, tomatoes or hot sauce might pop to mind—but hot dogs? Yep, hot dogs are the key ingredient at a local competition, and they will be grilled, sautéed, maybe even mashed and served with gravy or paired with fine vanilla-bean ice cream or wine. Frankly, the possibilities for weenies are endless.Last year alone, meat-hungry Americans ate 20 million hot dogs, so for hot dog lover's, Aug. 9 is a big day. The third annual B'nai Israel Jewish Center Kosher Cook-Off Competition looks outside the bun and serves up hot dogs in unexpected ways. Hot dogs, a staple of barbecue and kosher cuisine, "could not be a more fun main ingredient" says Glenn Laurie of the Jewish Center.
The last competition, in 2007, was such a success that the dogs have returned. Teams of center members have an hour and a half to make an appetizer, entrée and dessert all featuring the key ingredient while attendees sit back enjoy the show that will be emceed by Gina Romeo of Giacomo's Ristorante and Pizzeria. "You don't have to have firm buns in order to come to this cook-off," Laurie jokes.
These aren't mom's franks and beans or weenies in mac and cheese recipes, but rather the competition entries have upped the hotdog-fanciness ante. The 2007 judge's choice included kosher Sonoma sun-dried tomato marmalade with grilled kosher hot dogs and mango sorbet surprise. Surprise=hotdogs? Yes! And then there are people's choice winners, hot dog paella, kosher hot dog unstuffed cabbage and Mom's kosher hot dog apple pie. Whodda thunk?
Gourmet tasting kits, full of 18 taste and drink tickets, will be sold so guests can sample all of the 'dog creations. A silent auction and raffle will also be held. All proceeds support the Jewish Center.
The versatile hot dog—full of magical possibilities. What surprises will you unleash next? Cupcakes? Dare to dream.
Taste the eclectic possibilities of the hot dog, Sunday, Aug. 9, at the B'nai Israel Jewish Center. 740 Western Ave., Petaluma. 11am&–3pm. Free. 707.762.0340
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