100ml canola oil

800g white onion (about 4 medium

onions), sliced as thinly as possible 20g Kaituna dried horopito

2 teaspoons salt

80ml malt vinegar

50g brown sugar

600g ripe tomatoes, halved

8 lamb sausages (I use Cameron Harrison) 120g smoked cheddar cheese 8 sourdough hot dog buns 250ml ketchup mayonnaise and/or mustard, to serve

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot. Add the onions and cook over a moderate heat, stirring regularly, for 20 minutes to soften. Add the horopito and salt and continue to cook until the onions begin to develop a light colour. Add the malt vinegar and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes to reduce. Add the brown sugar, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for approximat­ely 30 minutes stirring regularly until the onions become syrupy and caramelise­d. Remove from the heat and keep aside.

Brush the tomatoes with oil, season with a healthy pinch of salt and place under a grill or on a barbecue and cook for approximat­ely 4 minutes on each side until they begin to blister and collapse. Remove from the heat and place in a heatproof bowl to rest for 10 minutes, then pulp with the back of a fork. Pierce the sausages with a knife tip and cook under a grill or on a barbecue until the juices run clear and fat is beginning to spurt. Remove from heat.

Controvers­y incoming: I like my hot dog bun untoasted, but feel free to gently warm the buns. Grate the smoked cheese. To assemble the hot dogs, put a sausage in each roll, add a squirt of ketchup, load up caramelise­d onion and scorched tomato and top with cheese. Add mayonnaise and/or mustard to taste.

GIVE THESE A GO… Double pork brat with kimchi, togarashi & tonkatsu sauce

Place 16 bratwurst (I use Bavarianz Nürnberger) in a clean bowl, sprinkle over a generous tablespoon of togarashi seasoning and toss well to coat. In a separate bowl, mix 400g kimchi with 5 tablespoon­s mayonnaise. Cook the bratwurst under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes on each side and remove from heat. Warm 8 soft white hot dog rolls and place 2 bratwurst in each roll. Top with the kimchi and finish with a streak of tonkatsu and an additional sprinkling of togarashi.

Parsley, sage & rosemary tofu hot dogs with lime avocado & pesto

Put the flesh of 2 medium-sized avocados into a bowl and season with a good pinch of salt and 5-6 cracks of pepper.

Add 2 tablespoon­s lime juice, mash together with a fork and keep to one side. Cook 8 Bean Supreme parsley, sage & rosemary sausages under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes each side and remove from heat. Split 8 soft white hot dog rolls and spread with mustard. Divide sausages between buns and load up with crushed avocado. Drizzle with basil pesto and add picked watercress sprigs for a peppery kick.

Tandoori chicken hot dog with blackened cucumber raita

Mix 1 cup yoghurt with 3 tablespoon­s tandoori paste in a bowl and add 8 chicken sausages. Cover and place in fridge to marinate for 1-2 hours. Split a large telegraph cucumber lengthwise and then into quarters. Place on a baking dish and rub with 1 teaspoon each of salt, ground cumin seed, mild chilli powder and ground fenugreek seed, and drizzle with oil. Place cucumbers skin-side down on a hot barbecue and cook on a high heat for 4-5 minutes until the skin chars. Remove from the heat and allow to rest. When cool, coarsely chop cucumber and mix with 1 cup yoghurt and ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves. Remove sausages from marinade and shake off excess. Cook on a hot grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Warm 8 split hot dog rolls and brush with soft butter. Assemble the hot dogs and top with cucumber raita and some finely sliced spring onion.

Pilsner corn dogs

Place 8 sausages of choice into a pot of cold water and bring to a simmer to precook. Remove from water and allow to steam dry. Insert a popsicle-style stick halfway into each sausage. In a bowl, mix 1 cup each of fine cornmeal and flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Make a well in the dry ingredient­s and add ½ cup each of milk and light pilsner beer and 2 whole size 7 eggs. Whisk all ingredient­s together until smooth and thick. Heat a litre of canola oil in a heavy-based pot to 160℃, or until a bread cube fries to golden in 6 seconds. Coat the dry sausages in flour and swirl in the batter. Shake off excess and cook 2 corn dogs at a time for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from oil to absorbent paper and repeat. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Cook’s tip: The longer the batter sits, the more it will thicken. It can be thinned down with warm water for a lighter batter.

The hot dog is a new-world classic. German immigrants brought the art of sausage making and the ever-lovable Dachshund dog breed to the USA. The connection was made and the rest is history. The appeal of hot dogs still lasts today with their no-fuss attitude, making them an ideal summer evening treat.

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