Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How To: Real Chicago Hot Dogs

Still inspired by our recent weekend trip to Chicago (read about it HERE), we decided we wanted to attempt one of the city's specialties. Since I'm not one for Deep Dish Pizza (no offense, Chicagoans), Chicago Hot Dogs seemed like a great idea. For the uninitiated, Chicago Dogs are basically Hot Dogs drizzled with Yellow Mustard and then topped with pretty much everything but the kitchen sink

Sweet Pickle Relish                                
Thinly sliced Tomato Wedges (we used Campari Tomatoes)                 
Kosher Dill Pickle Spears (I sliced mine in half lengthwise)   
Chopped Sport Peppers (or Peperoncini)  *what are Sport Peppers? Click HERE
Chopped White Onion     

For the Dog - There is no question that your Hot Dog should be All Beef. I am generally not a huge Hot Dog person for reasons I won't delve into on a blog, so I opted for Organic Dogs from Applegate Farms. The preferred brand for a True Chi Town Dog is Chicago's own, Vienna Beef. Take a look at their website here - Vienna also offers many Authentic products for building the perfect Chicago approved Dog. 

There are many acceptable ways to cook your Hot Dogs. I opted for Steaming them in a a steamer basket over boiling water for 5 minutes. This method was recommended on a great blog called  The Paupered Chef. Their Chicago Hot Dog Post provided a wealth of information on the subject and some handy pictures too!   As a bonus, using a steamer set up is dually convenient because the Hot Dog Buns should also be steamed for a minute or two.  

For the Bun - The most authentic Chicago Dog will be served on a Poppy Seed Bun. Since I couldn't find them, we used regular White Bread Hot Dog Buns. Later, I found out that Martha Stewart, genius that she is, had thought of a way to improvise Poppy Seed Buns HERE.

A note about Mustard - Apparently, the is to be no messing around with the Mustard on a true Chicago Dog. Not only should Mustard be the only condiment besides Relish that you use, but it must indeed be plain old Yellow Mustard. None of that fancy Grain Mustard or Dijon business. Got it? 

And now for the HOW TO:
~Special thanks to Martha Stewart and The Paupered Chef for much of the information in this post. 

1. Cook your Hot Dogs the way you prefer. We steamed ours for five minutes in a steamer basket over boiling water. After removing the Hot Dogs, we then steamed our Buns another 1-2 minutes.

Steamer Basket for Hot Dogs and Buns, Photo: NK
2. Next, drizzle with Mustard and spread Relish alongside.

Photo: NK
3. Finish by topping with Chopped Onion, Sliced Peppers, Tomato Wedges, and nestling a Kosher Dill Spear alongside.

Finished Chicago Hot Dogs, Photo: NK

4. Get a big bunch of napkins and dig in! 


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