Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dragged Through the Garden

After reading about our fun little picnic, I'm sure you're all anxious to stampede the grocery and squeeze in a little outdoor dining yourself. Let me introduce you to the ways of the aforementioned Chicago-Style Hot Dog.

1. BUN: IF you are fortunate to have poppy seed hot dog buns and IF they are not astronomically expensive and IF you have a bun steamer then that's what you would do. If not, get the whole wheat or white enriched jobbies and toast them briefly under the broiler (guess which one I do).

2. HOT DOG: find the best quality all-beef hot dog you can. I usually reach for Hebrew National or Nathan's. An authenticity expert will tell you the hot dog should be in a natural casing (i.e. pork intestine) and should "snap" when you bite into it. We don't have those kinds of hot dogs in Idaho. Cut an half-inch x into the end of each dog and fry in a pan until cooked through and deliciously browned. The x is for decoration and Mark invented it. (Authenticity requires steaming or boiling the dog. You decide.)


~Dill Pickle Spear

~Tomato Wedges

~Celery Salt (light sprinkling): you must NOT skip this. It is not a Chicago Dog without it. Buy it cheaply in bulk and place in a salt shaker for ease of use.

~Sweet Relish: the neon green kind if you can find it.

~Yellow Mustard: please note that ketchup is not listed here. That's intentional. It ruins the delicate balance of flavors.

~Diced Onion: in my stomach's humble opinion, optional.

~Pickled Sport Peppers: also optional in my mind, since the entire western half of the U.S. doesn't carry them. Mark occasionally substitutes little hot peppers, which have basically the same effect: adding a little heat. I'll pass, thanks.

Assemble as best you can, open wide, and enjoy!

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