Haute Dogs is here!
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“I’d like to say I wrote this book simply because hot dogs are my all-time favorite food and leave it at that. They are after all. However, that would leave this page awfully blank. So here is my attempt at describing just how obsessed I am with hot dogs, and why you should be too.
For me, the story starts about 20 years ago, around the time I can first begin to recall memories, and around the age at which I, a typical american child, was endowed with the magic that is American food: those quick, not-so-healthy, but oh-so delicious foods–pizza, cheeseburgers, tacos, and of course hot dogs. My first hot dog was a plain jane dog on a boring bun topped with nothing more than a squirt of mustard and possibly a little ketchup – I know, but don’t judge me I was only seven. Despite the unimaginative toppings of that very first wiener, it was still love at first bite. I can remember countless birthdays from then on when the fare I requested centered around glorious stacks of frankfurters. I insisted our weekly grilled meals contained plenty of the tubed meat to go around. When I eventually learned how to cook on my own, at the spoiled age of fifteen, I made one thing, and one thing only: hot dogs.
In high school, my friends were amazed at my ability to consume hot dogs every day for lunch, for months on end. The school lunch lady knew me by name and made sure to keep a few extra plump, juicy links hidden for me in case they ran out. In college, my nicknames began to reflect my love of this meaty, bread-heavy, topping-laden snack. Even though I knew how to cook, and cook well at that, I prepared hot dogs for special date-night-in’s, and I dragged weary dates to hot dog stands for anniversaries or special occasions. My friends soon resented my obsession with the weenie though. As the semesters piled on, I wasn’t asked where we should go to lunch anymore; my friends conveniently chose for me, and the hot dog stands and hot dog filled diners I once dragged us to disappeared from our repertoire.
You see, what I knew that my friends didn’t, is that the hot dog can be a different meal every time you bite in. Where they ordered the same toppings on the same bun with the same wiener over and over, I explored the vast, varied world of this crowd pleaser. They thought hot dogs were tired. I knew there were endless possibilities.
Now, when I mention red hots, frankfurters, foot longs, wieners, hotshots, tube dogs, or dachshund sandwiches my friends take heed. Their ears perk up and their appetites fuel inquiring minds. Because now they know when I say hot dog, I mean haute dog. They know to expect a trip down a back alley where hidden between an abandoned warehouse and a dive bar sits a decades-old diner that serving up the most marvelous, topping-heavy, unique dogs known to this big Texas city. Or they know to expect an expensive visit to some new, up-scale, and trendy bistro where the hot dog has been redefined from street food to black tie fare. And they know the next time we go for hot dogs, they’ll be biting into something completely different, a dog they’ve not tried before.
And that’s what haute dogs are. They aren’t the same old tired dog you’ve been eating in your backyard since you were a kid; haute dogs are the edible manifestation of a world’s love for this time-tested meal in a bun, and the culmination of over a century of culinary creativity. Haute dogs are as dividing as discussing your favorite team, but they can be found in just about every town and every country, and chances are everyone has tried one at some point. You can find them on street carts, at food trucks, in diners, delis, bistros, and restaurants, and you can make them in your kitchen or out in your backyard too.
Today, you can find hot dogs on every continent (okay, except maybe Antarctica, but I bet someone is working on changing that). So, what happens when you take an American fast-food classic and combine it with a regional cuisine, unique ingredients, time-tested traditions, and cultural idiosyncrasies? You get this book.”
I think my introduction to Haute Dogs is a perfect look into my love for hot dogs, and the mission behind this new book. It’s not just a look at hot dog recipes around the world; it’s a look at the history of the dog, and the ingredients that make them special. To kick off Haute Dogs‘ release, I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you an in-depth look into one of my favorite hot dog recipes, the Ecuadorian Street Dog.
Emily of Endless Simmer, Toni of Boulder Locavore, Marisa of Food in Jars, and Lindsay and Taylor of Love and Olive Oil will be joining me to help make this dog, completely from scratch. Below is the schedule for when you can find each particular recipe on each blog. Their recipes will include salsa verde, spicy aji sauce, homemade ketchup, yellow mustard, and mayo, and fries and potato wedges. Come back here May 15th when I will show you how to make hot dogs and buns from scratch, and will show you the assembled Ecuadorian Street Dog.
It’s going to be a blast!
Haute Dogs Kickoff
The Ecuadorian Street Dog
May 1st – Get the Salsa Verde recipe at EndlessSimmer.com
May 6th – BoulderLocavore.com shares the Spicy Aji Sauce.
May 8th – Check out homemade ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard recipes at FoodinJars.com.
May 13th – LoveandOliveOil.com gives you homemade french fries and potato wedges recipes.
May 15th – Come back here for the completed dog and from-scratch buns and hot dogs.
Anatomy of a Hot Dog
In the meantime, let’s look at what it takes to make the perfect dog. You can’t just throw toppings on a dog. You’ve gotta follow a few key rules!