Serving up the all-American classic this holiday weekend? Be sure to try one of James Beard's favorite riffs:
Appetizers: A spicy snack with drinks is hot frankfurters or knockwurst, cut in bite-sized pieces, skewered on a toothpick, and served with a dunking bowl of hot barbecue sauce.
Tomato: Slice several green tomatoes thickly, and shake in a paper bag with flour, salt, and pepper. Fry floured tomatoes in a skillet. Serve a grilled frankfurter atop each slice.
Texas Hots: Grill your franks, place on toasted rolls, and cover them with cooked chopped meat, chili, and chopped raw onion.
Frankfurter Stroganoff: Sauté chopped onion in butter until tender. Add tomato sauce and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then add sour cream to taste. Add sliced, grilled frankfurters and reheat, but do not allow to boil.
Cheese Stuffing: Slit each frankfurter length-wise, but do not cut through. Insert bits of sharp Cheddar cheese, wrap in a strip of partially cooked bacon, and fasten with a toothpick. Grill slowly to allow bacon to cook.
Cheesefurter: Place grilled franks on toasted rolls, cover with pickle relish and over all a slice of cheese. Grill until cheese has melted.
Chile: Serve grilled frankfurters with chopped green chiles and sour cream.
French: Prepare a garlic butter and add chopped chives and parsley. Spread on rolls, insert frank and top with a slice of cheese. Wrap in a double thickness of aluminum foil and heat until the cheese melts. Serve with a bowl of hot barbecue sauce for dunking.
Blanket: Roll uncooked frankfurters in your favorite bread or biscuit dough, which has been cut in strips ½-inch thick and wide enough to blanket each frank from end to end. There should be an overlap at the seam. Arrange on a greased baking sheet; bake in a moderate oven.
The Works: Slice lengthwise a loaf of French bread, spread with garlic butter, and toast slightly. On the bottom half place slices of tomato, onion, and cucumber. Then add split, grilled frankfurters or knockwurst. Top with mustard-mayonnaise—unless you want to add a slice of cheese as well. Cover with the other half loaf, cut in thick chunks. Serve with radishes and green onions.
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