Anyone who is a vegetarian, practicing vegan, or vegan cook knows that the secret to a flavorful carrot dog is in its well-seasoned briny flavor. Yup! That’s Right! The “peculiar secret” of amazement and the befuddlement found in the exclamation of “A CARROT HOT DOG!?” is in the transformational process of turning a lowly cheap root vegetable into a decadent pleasure through a carefully seasoned brine. The “peculiar secret” can be found in marinating the carrots in a brine that includes a meat or vegetable broth. Although most vegans and/or vegetarians will use vegetable broth, let’s not discount the importance of flavor and umami in other broths such as chicken, pork, or even beef. And let’s face it, a carrot dog could never be a hot dog much more than a dachshund (a.k.a “the wiener dog”) could ever be fully human. Here, in this recipe, I incorporate a large dose of ground cardamom to transform the ordinary flavor of a simple brine to one possessing distinctively citrus undernotes. Something many may find appealing.
1 cup chicken broth (if you’re a home cook and have access to pork broth this will work as well)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (* See Cook’s Note)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 carrots, peeled, trimmed, cut to fit your jar, and par boiled for 20 minutes
Hot dog buns
Favorite toppings: mustard, ketchup, relish, diced onion, fresh avocado slices, pickled jalapenos, etc. whatever you like!
1 tall mason jar (I re-use an old 24 oz. Kirkland Jar of Sliced Peaches that is 6.5″ tall – roughly the same size as a hot dog)
In a tall glass mason jar shaped to accommodate your 8 par boiled carrots, mix the first 10 ingredients. Carefully place hot, par boiled carrots directly from the boiling water to the vinegar brine. Seal jar tightly and let it come to rest on its side until jar cools and is easy to handle.
When jar has cooled to room temperature, place jar right side-up in the refrigerator, shaking well first. Let carrots marinate in jar for 24 hours, then take jar out of the refrigerator, shake jar briskly again, and turn it upside down. Keep in refrigerator until ready to eat (in another day or so). I will make a point to repeat shaking the jar briskly and turning it upside down in intervals while it’s in the refrigerator marinating to help ensure carrots are evenly seasoned.
(*) COOK’S NOTE: If you cannot find ground cardamom, you can substitute ground coriander in its place. Additionally, the combination of chicken broth, pork broth, and beef broth in the right ratios may prove to be the distinct “peculiar secret” to transforming a carrot dog into the best impostor. Although, I have no ratio to supply you with in this regard.
Additionally, you do not have to grill, fry, or heat the carrot hot dog. You can place a carrot hot dog right from its brine into a bun making it one of the fastest, cheapest meals you can eat.