Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Haute Dogs" and "The Summer Shack Cookbook" - The Chicago Dog and Summer Shack Coleslaw - Happy 4th!

Date I made these recipes:  July 5, 2014

Haute Dogs – Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments by Russell Van Kraayenburg
Published by:  Quirk Books
ISBN 978-1-59474-675-8
Purchased at Bibelot (gift shop)
Recipe:  The Chicago Dog – p. 32

The Summer Shack Cookbook – The Complete Guide to Shore Food by Jasper White
Published by:  W. W. Norton
ISBN 978-0-393-05238-1
Purchased at Hopkins Library Used Book Sale 
Recipe:  Summer Shack Coleslaw  p. 140

So here we are already at the 4th of July and unlike Memorial Day, I had my act together – grill and all!  Except...some friends got married on the 4th and threw a very fun picnic dinner for their wedding guests and so we had to forego the usual and customary 4th of July hot dog.  No worries, thought I, we'll just make dinner on the 5th...except...a friend of Andy's stopped by and that derailed dinner plans for that day as well.

But on the 6th of July folks, we nailed it!  The coleslaw was all ready to go on the 5th, the grill had been cleaned to my specifications (I think—I didn't do a last-minute spot-check), the hot dog accoutrements were in place and we had liftoff! 

I will say that I do love a grilled hot dog and that's because hot dogs are on and off the grill in mere minutes. Things that take longer bore me and with the mosquito population achieving new heights this "summer," I will not be the one standing out there waiting for the meat to be done.

Now, even though I had it in my head to make something simple for the 4th, I was helped along by a friendly-neighborhood, locally-owned gift store called Bibelot (bibelotshops.com).  I do so love Bibelot (all locations!) as the shop is filled with fun trinkets and gift items and cards and do-dads and even clothing and a week or so ago, they were having a sale.  Be.still.my.heart.  And that's when I found the hot dog book and was there ever a more perfect reason to go in there and shop?  I think not!  The book practically called to me.

As you might suspect, a book titled Haute Dogs provided many selections to tickle the palate on the 4th of July but after careful perusal, Andy and I decided on "The Chicago Dog."  In close second?  The "Danger Dog" and the "Wasabi Dog," the former because it fit with the 4th of July fireworks and the latter just because what is not to like about wasabi?  True confessions:  The Chicago Dog won out because it does not have raw onion on it, something that just doesn't appeal to us all that much.  (And since we'll be visiting NYC soon, there's plenty of time to satisfy a craving for a "New York Style Hot Dog" – p. 28 at Gray's Papaya.  At Gray's, you must get a dog with the NY-style onions on it, period, end.)

So as far as hot dogs or haute dogs went, this was a snap.  Much harder was to decide on the accompaniments or as they say around here, the "Go with's."  Andy is not fond of potato salad which bums me out every time I bring it up (hope springs eternal) so I compromised with a very tasty slaw from The Summer Shack Cookbook.  In my humble opinion, you cannot go wrong with any dish that calls for horseradish and this adds just enough of a bite to make it interesting. 

Those in the know will recognize Summer Shack restaurant owner and cookbook author, Jasper White, as he has carved out a name for himself as an authority of New England Cooking.    I haven't been to Boston in a long time but when I do, I will likely saunter over to his Summer Shack restaurant (4 locations) and get the real deal  - lobsters and possibly some hearty clam chowder.

As tempting as all his soups and chowders and fish and shellfish recipes sounded, I decided on his coleslaw.  As he points out in the preface to this recipe "Coleslaw is not just a dish, it is a phenomenon."  So there you go. 

So we had our haute dogs and our coleslaw recipes and the next step was the shopping and all went well...until it didn't.  You have no idea how hard it is to find the Chicago-style neon-green relish needed for the Chicago dog but I'll give you a hint:  ridiculously hard!  We finally found a mega bottle of it at Byerly's, our last-ditch grocery stop.  And you can just forgedaboutit when it comes to locating a poppy seed hot dog bun because apparently, no such thing exists in these parts, at least in a grocery store.  I pouted and then got over it.

We are not exactly sport/hot pepper people so we passed on that but managed to find all other ingredients for the dog so whew.  At near zero-hour, I thought about heading over to Chris and Rob's Chicago Taste Authority (three locations) to beg for the buns and the relish but I suspect they would have frowned on that and besides, we might as well just have bought a ready-to-go dog and where's the fun in that?

By the way, talk about timing:  no sooner had noted chef and author, Anthony Bourdain, talked about Detroit Coney Island [hot] dogs on his CNN show, Parts Unknown, than I found a great book about Detroit Coney's at Barnes and Noble.  Coney Detroit, by Katherine Yung and Joe Grimm, features all the places to go and love throughout Michigan (mostly Detroit) to get a Coney dog.   Although this doesn't contain recipes, it is a fun read with lots of photos that will have you salivating for a hot dog, Coney or other. 

The Chicago Dog (Ann's Note: quantity is whatever you want it to be!)
Poppy seed or classic bun
All-beef hot dog
Yellow mustard (Ann's Note: as in "regular" screaming yellow mustard, not the fancy stuff)
Neon-green relish (Ann's Note: NOT to be confused with regular pickle relish.  If you can't find it, do not make this recipe!)
Tomato wedges
Whole sport pepper
Dill pickle spear
Celery salt

Assembly:  Get out a poppy seed bun and a setup to steam it.  Panfry an all-beef hot dog on a flattop; toward the end of cooking, steam the bun.  Place the dog in the bun.  Top with a line of yellow mustard, a spoonful or two of neon-green relish, tomato wedges, sport peppers, and a dill pickle spear.  Spring with a dash of celery salt.  And don't even think about adding ketchup.

Just in case you were thinking about that ketchup (and you should not be), the author included a movie quote from the movie Sudden Impact, starring Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan:  "Nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog."

Do you really want to take on Clint "Go ahead, make my day" Eastwood?  No, you do not!

Summer Shack Coleslaw – makes about 7 ½ cups; serves 8 or more with leftovers
2 pounds white cabbage, tough outer leaves and core removed
1 small white onion, peeled
2 whole kosher dill pickles
1 pound carrots, peeled (and shredded)
1 ¼ cups Homemade Mayonnaise (see p. 343) or Hellmann's mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tabelspoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground celery seed
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Ann's Notes:  Since I made half the recipe, I bought a package of shredded cabbage.  Why futz around with the chopping and slicing if you don't have to?  Also, I have never in my life seen such a thing as a "small" white onion.  Never.  Just saying...

Thinly slice the cabbage. Finely chop the onion and pickles.  Shred the carrots on a box grater.  Or put the onion, pickles and carrots through the grating attachment of a food processor.  Place all the vegetables and the pickles in a large bowl and toss well.

Combine the mayonnaise, horseradish, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk well.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to distribute.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.  Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking before serving.

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