My mother is on a grand holiday at the moment, and all her pictures are giving me a fit of wanderlust. I get this feeling quite often, but today it’s especially bothersome. I’m not just seized by a desire to travel, but to travel back to places I’m missing.
In particular, I’ve been missing walking the streets of New York. Like that’s any surprise right? There’s no shortage of things to see in that city, and no shortage of things to eat either! Even stepping down from the steps of The Met, after a long day of filling your eyes with art, you can sit down and enjoy a pretzel or a hotdog.
Navigating The Met can really leave you hungry. The moment I stepped out of the museum, I realized I wanted to eat a chilli dog. The question was from which of the many vendors lined up outside. I’m not sure what made me approach this man’s stall in particular. From a distance I could see that he was making an effort to chat up his customers to make them smile, and maybe that’s why I decided to head that way.
And surely enough he cracked some jokes and even wrote some cheesy stuff on my chilli dog using mustard.
My Dad bought grilled chicken on a stick and we each had half a chilli dog and some chicken. It was enough to tide us over before dinnertime.
I think I have a rather fond memory of this small random moment, which is why of all things, I decided to make some New York-Style Hotdogs when Bibbo Hotdogs sent me some of their products to try.
I received one pack classic hotdogs in Jumbo size, and another in the cheesedog variety. The cheesedogs came in a shorter size, called Chubbies, and they live up to their names indeed as you shall see! 😉
The thing I love about the US is how something as seemingly mundane as a hotdog comes in glaringly different varieties depending on what state you’re in. A visit to Wikipedia will tell you that Chicago doesn’t even serve ketchup with their dogs (WHAT!), and that in New Jersey they make something called the potato dogs where they have stewed potatoes with brown mustard and spicy hotdogs. Dang, I want some spicy hotdogs!
In New York, their hotdogs are pretty straightforward. You got your boiled hotdogs inside a bun with just mustard and sauerkraut, usually also with a sweet onion sauce of sorts that’s ketchup based. It’s simple, but I think it packs a nice punch. I found this recipe on Food Network’s site, and everyone seems to love Bobby Flay’s take on this so I thought I’d give it a go.
And it’s super easy. As I mentioned, since I received a bunch of Bibbo Hotdogs from CDO, the opportunity was perfect. (Thank you so much to CDO for sending me these!)
So first, you steam your Bibbo hotdogs. While New York typically boils them, this way is much easier. These plump, red, and juicy-looking hotdogs are actually some of CDO’s finest hotdogs. Can you see those tiny fat hotdogs on the sides? So cute right? Now you know why they’re called ‘Chubbies’!
Now you can go on ahead and make your onion sauce. Slice or dice into 1/4-sized strips and pieces 2 medium onions. I like them looking like thin strips so this is what I went for, but it’s easier and less messy to pile them on top of the hotdog if you slice them smaller.
The onions go into the pan with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until they tun soft, a few minutes will do. Then into the pan you want to add 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder. Mix this around and cook for a minute or so to allow the onions to absorb the flavours.
It’s time to add in 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha), then 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix it again until well combined.
There’s going to be a lot of liquid at first, but you want to allow the onion sauce to simmer and bubble away, until most of that liquid has thickened and reduced. It will take a good 10 to 15 minutes until this happens.
Now this looks more like sauce! You can probably let it cook for a bit more if you prefer just onions coated in sauce, but I like still having a bit of the actual sauce. Allow this to come to room temperature in another bowl before using.
Before I forget, you can refrigerate the onion sauce in an airtight container for up to 2 days if you’re not using it right away, or if for some reason you have leftovers. This onion sauce is good for 8 hotdogs.
Anyway, it’s time to assemble the troops! Get your buns and hotdogs ready, along with your mustard and onion sauce. I used Dijon by the way because that’s what we like around here.
I slice my buns about 3/4 of the way through and toast it, because warm bread is always better you know? Place your hotdogs between the buns.
Because I was being lazy, I just squeezed some mustard on them hotdogs. In New York, they actually spread the bottom half of each bun with some mustard for maximum flavour.
And now we add the onion sauce on top. And this post is officially making me hungry.
I really like eating my hotdogs this way. It’s simple, but adding that onion sauce makes it a lot more filling; plus you get some crunch and savouriness, a bit of sweetness from the ketchup, and the tiniest kick from the hot sauce, chilli, and the pepper. Maybe I’ll add some more chilli next time.
Ironically, I like this better than a chilli dog actually. I really like onions so I guess it figures! The chips, by the way, is not something they usually serve with the hotdogs, but I wanted some added crunch. You can totally crush the chips and place it on top!
I also made some Mini Hotdogs using the Chubbies and placed them inside pan de sal. Pan de sal is life. 😀
Okay seriously you guys, I’m going to go and make some more of these. Enjoy!