Monday, July 2, 2007

Chicago Dogs Part II

Sorry I haven't written. It's been a hectic last couple of weeks. Since I last wrote I fell and broke my wrist and have had surgery. Yesterday was the first day I could type with my left hand at all. For those among you who are, well, gruesome, here's a picture of my reconstructed wrist. It is interesting to note just how similar my hand looks to a ham hock. I had never made connection before, but the splinted shape, iodine color, and stitches look that way to me. As I recall med students are first taught to do stitches on pigs' feet. I can see why now.

Anyway, I did manage to make Chicago dogs for my family before this happened and took some pictures. This first picture is of the "assembly line" for the ingredients to the Chicago Dogs. I have found this is the best presentation as it allows everyone to assemble his or her own dog. This works really well in a part situation where assembling is part of the fun. This would be a great tail-gating meal for the upcoming football season if that's what you like. Note the conspicuous absence of a place for the dreaded red sauce, Ketchup.

This next picture shows the completed dog. As you can see, one dog is a meal in itself and will satisfy most appetites. Teen adolescent males could probably eat two or three.

In case you didn't read the original story about the magnificence of Chicago Dogs, here's the story. Note: there is absolutely no substitute for the sports peppers. The story includes a link where you can buy them. I've never been able to find them outside of Chicago.

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll be able to follow up with another column soon. Keep a good thought.

Take care, and take two. They're small.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Best Peanut Butter Bar Ever

I'd be remiss if I failed to include a reference to my posting in my other blog, "A Baby Boomer's Guide to the Universe" where I referred to the Best Peanut Butter Bars ever.

Believe me these really are good. There are links provided in my post so you can order as many as you want. You don't want to miss these.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Chicago Dogs

I love Chicago Dogs. While the rest of America limps along with thin, ten to the pack, wieners served on wimpy air-filled buns, Chicago provides a full, tasty meal with a Chicago Dog.

According to Wikipedia a Chicago Dog consists of a poppy seed bun, an all-beef, natural casing dog with mustard, chopped onion, green sweet relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers, and celery salt. Normally the dog is steamed or boiled, but I prefer to grill them, although technically this makes them a Char Dog, not a Chicago Dog.

There is some room for compromise. Here in the Pacific Northwest, I find I can't easily find poppy seed buns so I substitute Stadium Buns. Since the bun will hold several ingredients it must have some substance. The namby-pamby hot dog buns sold in the local supermarket will not serve. Although the "official" recipe calls for all-beef dogs with natural casings, I prefer a Polish Dog or a Spicy Dog and I try not to think about what the casing is made of.

Two items do not allow for compromise however. First you MUST use sport peppers. There is no substitute. Chances are you cannot find Sport Peppers in your local market if you live outside the Chicago area. I have provided a link below where you can order sport peppers at a reasonable price for home delivery. Second, do NOT use ketchup of catsup.

I usually put together an assembly line of ingredients so each person can put together his or her own Chicago Dog in the ideal order.

  • Cooked Dog
  • Bun
  • Plain Ordinary Mustard (put on the dog, not the bun)
  • Chopped Onion (I put a row on each side of the bun)
  • Sweet Green Relish (cover the onions)
  • Deal Pickle Spear (I like one on each side)
  • Tomato Half Slices (I use four half slices two on each side to line the entire bun)
  • Sport Peppers (one on tope of each tomato slice)
  • Celery Salt (a healthy shake over the Chicago Dog)

The resulting dog provides an entire meal and appeals to all the taste buds. My family asks me to make them at least once each month. I'm always glad to do so. They are among my favorites.