By Eric Kim
Dane Tashima for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.
Often described as “dragged through the garden” — referring to all of the vegetable toppings — this hot dog is a joy to eat in honor of the Windy City.
A proper Chicago dog is an all-beef frankfurter (such as Vienna Beef) in a poppy seed bun, topped with yellow mustard, neon-green sweet pickle relish, chopped white onion, tomato slices, a dill pickle spear, pickled sport peppers and celery salt. This stovetop recipe is very forgiving, and there are ways to adapt: No poppy seed buns? Just sprinkle a pinch of loose poppy seeds over regular hot dog buns slathered in melted butter. No neon-green sweet relish? Stir a drop or two of green food coloring into regular sweet relish. If you can’t find Chicago-style sport peppers, then sliced pepperoncini works in a pinch. Don’t skip the celery salt; its herbal lightness makes these dogs shine.
Featured in: Welcome to Chicago, Hot Dog Town, U.S.A.
Yield: 4 servings
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4split poppy seed hot dog buns
- 4all-beef hot dogs, preferably bun-length
- Yellow mustard
- ¼cup sweet pickle relish
- 1small white onion, small-diced
- 1small tomato, halved and thickly sliced lengthwise
- 4dill pickle spears
- 4 to 8sport peppers
- Celery salt
- Step 1
In a large skillet over medium, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Without splitting them in half completely, gently flatten the hot dog buns and place them seam-side up in the pan. Move them around to catch all the melted butter and cook until very lightly toasted at the edges, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the buns and set aside.
- Step 2
Raise the heat to medium-high and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. When the butter is melted, add the hot dogs and cook, rolling occasionally until all sides are browned and looking crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. (See Tip if grilling.)
- Step 3
Place the cooked dogs in the buns and top each with as much yellow mustard, relish and onion as you like. On one side of each dog, place a couple of tomato slices; on the other side, place a single pickle spear. Top with as many sport peppers as you can handle. Generously season with the celery salt and serve immediately.
- If you’re grilling, just cook the hot dogs over direct medium heat until charred and blistered in spots, 8 to 10 minutes, and meanwhile toast the buns over the open flame as well, about 30 seconds.
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