Mardi Gras Recipe: Pepper Weenies with Smoked Bacon & Vidalia Onion Marmalade

published Feb 16, 2012
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Mardi Gras is on Tuesday. Do you have plans? We’ve got a fun, super easy recipe for an impromptu party—hot dogs! But they’re gussied-up hot dogs, boiled in a spicy broth and served with saucy onions.

This recipe comes from chef David Guas, a New Orleans native who owns the Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Virginia. David says these spicy dogs are a classic Mardi Gras food; people serve them along the parade route or at parties.

Here’s what makes them a great dish for a casual get-together: You add some crab and shrimp boil spices to a big pot of water, throw in some hot dogs, and then pull them out when you need them. As you run out of dogs, toss more into the pot.

As for the marmalade, it can be made (way) ahead of time. Just set it out with some spicy mustard, a big bowl of chips or other snacks, and you’re all set.

Pepper Weinies
serves a crowd
1 1-pound package Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab Boil seasoning mix
1 (or more) packages hot dogs

In a large stockpot, mix 8 quarts water and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add hot dogs to the pot, and cook according to package directions.

For a party, remove hot dogs from the pot and return the liquid to a boil. Cook additional hot dogs as needed.

Smoked Bacon & Vidalia Onion Marmalade
makes 6 cups
2 to 3 strips bacon
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 pounds Vidalia onions, diced (about 5 onions)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Steen’s cane syrup (available at Amazon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the bacon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until each strip is evenly crispy. Remove and chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside.

Toast the mustard seeds in a dry pot over medium heat just until the seeds begin to dance and get slightly browned. Add the vinegar and remaining ingredients (including the bacon) to the pot. Cover and raise the temperature to medium-high. Allow the onions to sweat on the heat for about 20 minutes, stirring the pot a few times throughout. After 20 minutes, remove the cover and continue to cook on medium heat until most of the liquid is reduced and the onions are dark in color, approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Marmalade will last for 2 weeks in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.

(Image: Scott Suchman)