Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Italian Tre Formaggi & Balsamic Tomato Relish Hot Dog

     Not Your Average Italian Style Gourmet Hot Dog! 
     For today's recipe, I did not want to make the same old Pizza Dog that that many snack food restaurants have offered in the past.  I had just a couple of spoonfuls of Italian 3 Cheeses Mix (Tre Formaggi) leftover from making a previous recipe.  My first thought was to make this hot dog like an Italian Baked Ziti.  On second thought, I figured that the hot dog bun would probably burn after being baked for that much time.  Instead, it is best to just warm the 3 Cheeses mixture and top it with a zesty sauce.  Tomatoes reduced with Balsamic Vinegar certainly is zesty and it is like a dark chunky sweet tomato relish.  The flavor goes well with the warm Italian 3 Cheeses.  

     Tre Formaggi:
     This recipe yields about 2 3/4 cups.  This is enough to make an Italian baked pasta entrée and still have enough for a few hot dogs.  Only 3 or 4 tablespoons are needed per hot dog.  
     Never add salt or pepper to Tre Formaggi or the delicate "sweet" flavor of the ricotta cheese will be lost! 
     Step 1:  Place 1 3/4 cups of ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/3 cup of finely grated Parmigiana Cheese.
     Add 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella cheese.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 2 tablespoons of whisked egg.
     Step 2:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Chill the Tre Formaggi in a refrigerator till it is needed.  

     Balsamic Tomato Relish:  
     This recipe yields about 1 cup.  (Enough for 4 or 5 hot dogs.) 
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat.  
     Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.  
     Sauté the garlic till it is a golden color.  
     Step 2:  Add 1 1/4 cups of coarsely chopped imported Italian canned peeled plum tomato and a small portion of its own juices.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. 
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Add 1 pinch of dry mustard powder.  
     Add 1 pinch of oregano. 
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. 
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.   
     Step 3:  Simmer and reduce till most of the excess liquid evaporates.  
     Step 4:  Place the relish in a container.
     Chill the relish for 1 hour, so the flavors meld.
     Warm the relish to room temperature before serving.  
     Italian Tre Formaggi & Balsamic Tomato Relish Hot Dog:
     This recipe yields 1 gourmet hot dog!
     Step 1:  Cook 1 all beef Coney Island style hot dog in boiling water, till it starts to plump up.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan  or griddle over low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  
     Add the plumped hot dog.
     Lightly grill the hot dog till light brown highlights appear.
     Step 3:  Place the hot dog on a hot dog bun.  
     Use a spoon to spread about 1/3 cup of the Italian 3 Cheese over the hot dog and bun. 
     Place the hot dog and bun on a baking pan.
     Bake in a 325ºF oven till the cheese warms and partially melts.  
     Step 4:  Place the Tre Formaggi Hot Dog on a plate.
     Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Balsamic Tomato Relish on the Tre Formaggi Hot Dog.
     Garnish the plate with an Italian Parsley sprig, olives, sport peppers and dill pickle.  

     Cheesy, zest and yummy!  

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