The Chicago Dog
New Yorkers LOOK AWAY.
This post is a tribute to your windy city competitor when it comes to pizza and hot dogs (and possibly underworld crime).
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good New York street dog. The problem is that I don’t really consider them a meal. I mean, sure, you could eat two or three of them and probably be okay.
Or you could eat one massive Chicago dog and be set for awhile. I’m not exactly sure what the history is behind the dog, but I know that it has all of my favorite things packed on top of a hot dog. What’s not to love?
The Chicago Dog
Yield: 4 dogs
4 1/4 pound beef franks, boiled
White onions, diced
Quick Cucumber Relish:
1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded, minced
4-5 sweet pickled cherry peppers, seeded and minced
1/3-1/2 Cup vinegar (try it with apple cider vinegar or white or red wine vinegar)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1) To make relish, peel and seed a cucumber. Dice it small and mix it with the other relish ingredients. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before using.
2) To prep dogs, boil them in lightly salted water for 5 minutes.
3) Toast buns.
4) Build dog with mayo and mustard. Add sliced tomatoes and pickles.
5) Add dog and toppings.
6) Serve with napkins. You'll need them.
Relish the relish
A good Chicago dog has to have relish on it, but I quickly ran into a problem. When I was browsing through the store, I couldn’t find a single relish that looked good to me. They all seemed really processed and most had a huge amount of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, which seemed a bit unnecessary.
So I figured I’d just make my own. It turned out to be my favorite part of the dog!
Traditionally, relish is made with pickles, but I decided to use cucumbers for a bit more freshness.
Peel, seed, and dice your cucumber and stir it together with the other ingredients. Let this sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and you’ll be well rewarded. It’s awesome on a dog.
A few other necessities for a good Chicago dog include pickles, tomatoes, and white onions. You could not use any of these I guess, but then you best not be calling it a Chicago dog.
As far as the hot dogs go, just toss them in some salted boiling water until they are nice and plump, probably 5 minutes. Then they are ready to go.
Building the Dog
When it comes to hot dog buns, I like mine nice and toasted. I toast them under the broiler for a minute or two to get nice and crispy. Not a necessary step, but I think it holds up to the fillings a bit better if it’s toasted.
Layer on mayo and mustard followed by sliced stuff.
Then stick in your dog and top with onions, relish, and a sprinkle of celery salt.
You might think that celery salt is a weird ingredient for hot dogs, but just go with it. It’s awesome.
Bring some napkins to the party. These guys are messy.
Here’s my slightly more staged version.
This is about as staged as I get people.
Hopefully, I didn’t just lose my entire New York readership.
Without a doubt, I give New York the pizza badge, but I think I might have to give the hot dog award to Chi-town.