Hot Diggity Dog!

“The Beasts” Spicy Red Onions!

It’s that time of year to break out the grills, clean them up and get them going. One of “The Beast’s” favorite pastime foods made on a grill, is a hot dog. There are so many toppings that you can put on a them. The list can be endless. Some like mustard while others ketchup. Maybe some relish, cheese or chili is what you enjoy. Sauerkraut is an All-American favorite. Perhaps a combination of several different choices is to your liking. Then there is the almighty onion. Some like raw while others like grilled. Which leads me to what “The Beast” craves when he hungers for a hot dog. His go to topping is spicy red onions. That is the recipe I offer up to you today.

The beauty of the recipe below is that you can make a batch and freeze them in pint size containers and they will last you for a good portion of the summer. If you are knowledgeable about canning, you can store them in that fashion as well. This is such an easy dish to make, that you will never buy a jar of them again. I grill often and since we don’t just don’t put these on hot dogs, I make a batch about three to four times a summer. In addition to hot dogs, we put them on burgers, chicken patties, sausages, grilled chicken, etc. You name it and we put these spicy red onions on it. Without committing copyright infringement, I’ll stop before I go too far. But we put this s**t on… Well you know the rest.

This recipe will yield approximately six pints of the finished product. In my family we like our red onions very spicy. Stick to the recipe when I speak about adding the peppers. Go slow! Especially if you do not enjoy heat the way we do. You are going to need a very large pot for this recipe and at first you are going to be worried when you add all the onions. But remember that onions cook down and the final product will only fill a third of the pot compared to when you started.

If you continue reading past the recipe and the pictures of the spicy red onions, I’ve included a couple of tips for slicing, dicing and chopping onions to prevent tears and injury. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 6 Lbs. Vidalia onions (We will into how to cut them in the directions)
  • 1 Can tomato paste – 6 oz. can
  • 4 Cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil

Directions

  • With the onions, you can slice or chop them. This is a personal choice. I slice them, because that’s our personal preference. If you chop them, don’t chop them too small because they will cook down and will disintegrate.
  • In a very large pot (Large enough to hold all the raw onion), cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for one minute.
  • Add the onions. (Don’t get scared. Remember they will cook down.)
  • Over medium heat (stirring often), sauté the onions until they become tender.
  • Lower the heat and add the tomato paste.
  • Add the one tablespoon of salt
  • IMPORTANT: Add only 1/4 tablespoon of the black pepper and the crushed red pepper.
  • Stir extremely well.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes on low heat.
  • Taste and slowly add a 1/4 tablespoon of the black pepper and the crushed red pepper at a time, tasting as you go, until you get the level of heat you desire.
  • Stir well again.
  • Cover and simmer for forty five minutes.
  • Stir and taste again. Add more salt and peppers if you feel you need it for your pallet.
  • Turn off flame and let cool. Then distribute in pint size containers so you can use them as needed.

*Reminder: Below these pictures is a couple of tips on cutting onions.*

One of the biggest complaints when cutting an onion is that it makes you tear and/or cry. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to keep the root end intact. The root end is the side of the onion with the little strands coming out of them. Onions have an enzyme in them that affects the tear ducts. When you cut off this end of an onion, it releases this enzyme in greater force.

Also when you slice, chop or dice an onion as well as other vegetables you should use your knuckles to guide the knife. Do not leave your thumb extended, but rather tuck it under and up against the palm of your hand. Your knuckles will protect your fingers from getting injured. The picture below depicts how to position your hand properly.

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