So this is less of a recipe and more of an assembly instruction. But sometimes those types of “recipes” are what we need. Especially this time of year as the weather changes and we begin planning our Memorial Day barbecues.
(And, incidentally, something that some food bloggers start craving after a grueling international vacation that leaves one weary, but happy, and most definitely craving the most American of American fares).
Therefore, I give you, the Chicago-Style Hot Dog. For those of you that don’t know, I am originally from Michigan and grew up equidistant between Chicago and Detroit. We took numerous trips to and from Chicago growing up and, as an adult, I most definitely miss the Windy City and all the vibrance, culture, and food that the city has to offer. (I would most definitely move there in a heartbeat if one could figure out a way to deal with the pesky winters…)
But, for anyone who is at all familiar with these rust-belt cities, you must be familiar with the level of passion and pride surrounding hot dog preparation. The Chicago-Style references the toppings, which in this case includes tomatoes, diced onions, relish, a dill pickle, spicy peppers, mustard, and a sprinkling of celery salt. This is all shoved into a poppy-seed bun which in my case, I demanded to be toasted with butter.
The absolute classic recipe calls for “neon green relish” which I just couldn’t bring myself to use here. My deepest apologies to the true Chicago-Style fans. The other shout-out that I wanted to make is that I used Wagyu Frank sausages that I procured from Sausage and Meat, a funky and hip restaurant here in San Diego that has some of the most miraculous home-made sausages on the planet. Also- I learned that the owners are from Grand Rapids, MI, which is basically my second hometown, which makes me love them, like 10,000 x more. (Sadly they have since CLOSED since I wrote this post. A sad day indeed. Guys… if you are out there, please resume. You have fans!)
These Wagyu Franks were thick, juicy, meaty, and held up exceptionally well to a pan-grilled preparation. As someone who is a little leery of packaged hot-dogs, I found this home-made variety to be incredibly tender, high quality, and perfectly seasoned. If you’re in the market for Wagyu Franks, I would highly recommend them.So bear with me folks as I get back to reality here and catch up on my responsibilities that I’ve neglected while on vacation. And be prepared to be barraged with vacation photos in the not-too-distant future. 🙂
Chicago-Style Hot Dog
_For the Buns_
- 2 Hot Dog Buns
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
_For the Hot Dogs_
- 2 All-Beef hot dogs
- 1/4 white onion diced
- 1 roma tomato diced
- 2 dill pickle spears
- A few tablespoons pickle relish to taste
- Spicy Brown Deli Mustard to taste
- A few pickled Hot Chili Peppers to taste
- Celery Salt
- Butter the inside and outside of 2 hot dog buns. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Bring a cast iron skillet to medium heat and sear the buns for about 1 minute per side, or until the butter is melted and buns are toasty.
- Set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet and add the hot dogs. Sear until the hot dogs are browned and heated through. (You can also grill the hot dogs on your outdoor grill or indoor grill-pan).
- Once hot dogs are cooked, top each with onion, tomato, 1 dill pickle spear, reslih, mustard, hot peppers, and sprinkle liberally with celery salt.