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Dressed up dogs

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A red snapper with mustard? Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes some people crave a bit more refinement than the classic red hot provides, especially when they see what the upscale restaurants and eateries are serving during the summer season. Gourmet dogs are poised to become a national (even an international) phenom, so here are a few of what everyone else is eating, supposedly.

L.A. Downtown dog - Hot dog wrapped in bacon before grilling. Then pile on diced tomatoes, onions, salsa, shredded cheese of your choice, pinto beans and minced chili pepper.

Chicago-style dog Half-moon sliced tomatoes on one side with half-moon sliced cucumbers on the other. Topped with Dijon-style mustard, celery salt, relish and thinly-sliced (lengthwise) pickles on top.

Kansas dog - Pork sausage "dog" topped with Swiss cheese, brown mustard and sauerkraut.

New York-style dog - Cook a sweet onion that has been sliced in a little veggie oil until soft. Add 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. ketchup, 1 t. sugar and 1/2 t. red pepper flakes. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Spread over the top of your dog.

Carolina-style dogs - Top your dogs with cole slaw, diced onion and chili.

Pacific Coast dogs - Split dog before grilling. Top it with cream cheese, minced hot pepper and grilled onions.

South of the border dogs - Guacamole, diced tomatoes, mayonnaise, green chili sauce and your choice of cheese.

Thai-style dog - Add chili sauce with chopped chives.

Greek-style dog - Guacamole, blue cheese, hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives adorn the top.

Sonoran dog - Cooked, drained spinach and Asiago cheese elevate this dog.

Parisian-style dog - A steamed dog with brie slices, pear slices and Dijon mustard.

English-style dogs - A steamed dog with sweet peas that have been mushed slightly, pork rinds and horseradish.

Where is the avocado slices you hear so much about from chefs on television? Well, avocado on franks? That would just plain be wrong! But if you must, try my:

Avocado salsa -  Mix 3 peeled, pitted and diced avocadoes with 1 diced tomato, 1/4 c. diced red onion, 1 seeded and chopped hot pepper, 2 T. lemon juice, 1/2 t. minced garlic and 1 T. dried, crushed cilantro. Let sit for at least an hour.

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