Hot dogs are the ultimate easy crowd pleaser. They're already cooked, so you don't have to worry about poisoning anyone, and even the most picky youth can rarely resist a good dog.

"Dirty water dogs" - the ones you get from a cart that sit in a vat of salty water - may seem like a treat you can only get on the streets of big US cities but, with an immersion circulator, you can get very close to the real thing at home.