Monday, May 5, 2014

Charred Carrot Hotdogs

'Char' is one of those buzzwords that's popping up on a lot of menus these days. It's understandable! Charring something is quite exciting. The act of intentionally burning food…whyever would someone do that? It's more common than you'd think -- even outside the confines of a fancy-pants restaurant kitchen. Take roasted red peppers, for example: charring the outside of the pepper renders a pliable, sweet, smoky, and delicious treat. So, why stop there? We need to be charring some other things, too, right?

What would we do with charred carrots? we asked ourselves. The answer came when we spied some overgrown organic carrots in the produce section of Whole Foods: gotta be a hot dog. Once we tried it, we were hooked. The texture of the carrot is smooth and meaty, and the smoky sweetness is pronounced. All we add is salt, pepper, and touch of sesame oil. It's simple and perfect…no packaging
required.

Top these dogs however you'd like: chili and cheddar with chopped white onion, or mustard and sauerkraut, or ketchup and pickle relish. Make a bunch and invite some friends over. The weather is getting warmer, everyone seems lighter and happier, and we're thinking this recipe is our first in a series of the great, healthy, summer party food.

Charred Carrot Hotdogs

6 very large carrots*
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
6 whole wheat or gluten-free hot dog buns
vegetarian chili, cheddar, chopped onion, sauerkraut, pickles, ketchup, spicy mustard (to serve)

Over a high flame on your outdoor grill's side burner or under your oven's broiler, char the carrots until they are deeply blackened all over. This will take roughly 20 minutes if you turn the carrots 1/4 turn every 5 minutes. Once they are sufficiently blackened, remove them and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Allow the carried carrots to rest for 15 minutes. They will finish cooking through during that time, and the smoke flavor will infuse throughout.

If they are cool enough to handle, pull the char off of each carrot just like you would for a roasted red pepper. Drizzle the carrots with sesame oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to warm them up on the grill if you'd like; serve them on a bun with your favorite toppings. (Serves 4-6.)

*Look for the carrots that are about as big around as a half-dollar and have very little taper to them. The biggest carrots you can find are what's going to work best here. They shrink slightly during the cooking process, and then you pull off the charred part, so they will be smaller once it comes time to eat.

8 comments:

Eileen said...

What a great idea! And potentially HILARIOUS, besides. Not that I would trick someone into eating an entire carrot...no, probably not, although it's tempting. :)

Anonymous said...

The Carrot Dog has been a longtime favorite menu staple at M's Pub in Omaha - and it's fantastic! Can't wait to try this at home, thanks!

Mila said...

What an awesome idea! I never thought of charring any other vegetables besides red peppers.

Mila said...

What an awesome idea! I never thought of charring any other vegetables besides red peppers.

Anonymous said...

Our little guy has PKU, which means he cannot eat proteins. We like to make him "look" like he is eating the same/similar to us. Thank you for this. Hotdogs while camping just became easier. We charred over the fire pit before the evening. Then he could "roast" with the kids. Sadly, it was not an instant hit, but we will try again, and he certainly enjoyed the "roasting" part. He loves Carrots, so its just a matter of time I am sure! :)

Anonymous said...

There is a hot dog stand along the river in Buffalo (Old Man River) that has been selling these for years calling them "bunny dogs". Love them!

BlackAngel said...

This is a very cool idea. :-)

Stephanie Jones said...

This is such an awesome idea! I can't wait to try these!