J is for Junk Food: Hot Dogs with an Epicurean Touch!

Yes! I do occasionally indulge in Junk food. Who doesn’t?

Those days have long gone when my children would compel me to take them to McDonalds, Burger King, or KFC.  Now, they expect rather demand that I whip up their choice of comfort foods with my embellishments.  Well once in a while, I crave junk food too. (Shh! don’t mention it to them otherwise I might have to surrender my health/nutritional halo).

Of all the junk foods out there, I lean towards Hot Dogs. I guess they have a nostalgic appeal to me. Since 6th grade, every summer a bunch of us would travel to Mussorie (hill station in UP) organized by my school’s principle, Mrs. Joy Michael. We would stay at the lodge for 10 days with few teachers and a ton of rowdy but fun peers. One of my personal highlights of that trip used to be visiting The Woodstock School, an International boarding school in the heart of the Himalayas.

The campus, the extracurricular activities, the food, the gorgeous looking girls and boys, I could keep going on…I love the book Ann’s Dairy and in Woodstock one year I was fortunate enough to experience their annual drama festival, where I got to see my first play with scenes depicted from Ann’s Diary.  Speaking of food, my comfort dish, you guessed it was hot dogs. While growing up there were only two places I could enjoy a genuine dog – the American Embassy’s cafeteria in Delhi or Woodstock.  As you can see, I have been fascinated with dogs pretty much most of my life.

I am a NY gal at heart so it’s always Kosher Meat for me.  Outside of NY, two places which in my humble opinion, incontestably are hog haven icons:  Hot Doug’s in Chicago and Pinks in Los Angeles. Totally different styles but both of them have won me a loyal patron for life. (Here’s my review of Hot Doug’s).

Sadly, I am not 100 miles proximity to both these places. I had little choice  to satisfy my junk food cravings but to make them myself. Here’s my version of Hot Dogs.

 

Hot Dogs – My Way

 

Hot Dogs with three toppings: home-made tangy Pepper Relish, Spicy Onions, and Pueblo Green Chili. With these flavorful condiments on your table, honestly I see no additional value of adding mustard or ketchup to your roll.

 

Ingredients for Hot Dogs:

  • 8 Kosher Style Dinner Sausages (feel free to substitute with your preference of meat)
  • 8 Dinner style hoagie rolls
  • Pickled pepper relish
  • Pickled red onions
  • Pueblo green chili
  • Mustard & Cheese (optional)

 

Pickled Pepper Relish

  • 1 cup green bell pepper, seeded, and cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, seeded, and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into small dice
  • 6 ounces cider vinegar
  • 3 ounces sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 dried chipotles or adobe chipotles, halved
  1. Add all the ingredients in a pan and bring to boil.
  2. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Chill.

 

Pickled Onions

  • 1 medium red onion, cut into half and thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 fresh habanero or Scotch bonnet chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  1. Stir together all pickled onion ingredients in a bowl and chill, covered, at least 24 hours.

These onions are highly addictive especially with Indian meals.

 

Pueblo Style Green Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 Poblanos and 4 Cubanellas (roasted, peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs Raisins
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole Tomatoes packed in juice
  • 1 Large Onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 5 medium cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Tsp. dried Oregano
  • 1 quart Chicken Stock
  • 1 lb Pork Shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 Tbs Masa or Yellow Cornmeal
  • Salt to taste
  • Lard or Vegetable Oil

Directions

  1.  Cover raisins with hot water and steep until softened (10 minutes). Blend raisins and tomatoes till smooth.
  2. Heat oil in pressure cooker and saute onions till softened. Add garlic, oregano, and jalapeno and stir for a minute.
  3. Add roasted peppers, tomato puree, chicken stock, and pork. Seal the pressure cooker and cook a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. After the pressure is released. Cook the chili further for 30 minutes on low heat without lid.
  5. Heat lard and masa together and cook till golden brown. Add to the chili and cook for additional 10 minutes. If the chili isn’t thick enough, boil it on high to get preferred consistency or add two tablespoons cornstarch for quick solution.

Note: the chili can also be made in a regular pot instead of a pressure cooker. Increase cooking time to 2 hours, adding extra water as necessary.

 

 

Do you have a favorite junk food joint or recipe? I would love to hear from you. Shoot me an email or post a comment below. Happy Eating!!

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5 Comments

  1. I have always liked my occasional “bad for you” hot dog with simple yellow mustard and onions, but if I had to stray from my usual, I think I would love your pickled pepper relish!

  2. Just the other day I was lamenting on why hotdogs had to be so bad for you! I love them! Probably because during my growing up years my family used to drive to town and visit “Rays Tastee Freeze” and get Chili Dogs! My mom loved that sauce so much that years after we moved, during a visit to my old hometown, I purchased a container of this sauce to take home to mom!

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