Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hot Dog! It's the 4th of July!

So Here's How to Make the Best Hot Dog Experience

By Sam Ferreri  What could be more "American" than Hot Dogs?  Well, a lot of things, actually, because hot dogs were created in Frankfurt, Germany around the 13th century, and the terms "wiener" comes from Vienna, Austria . . . but who cares?  They're now as American as Apple Pie!

The Traeger Smoker
So when is a better time to eat them than the 4th of July?  This is it . . . this is your chance!  Las year, I purchased a Traeger Electric Smoker . . . and yum yum yum.  I discovered that there's absolutely no better way to prepare the tube steak (a/k/a the wiener) than to smoke it on the Traeger until it "busts" down one side!  I buy the "base model" Oscar Meyer hot dogs for this event.  

Of course, there are many options in hot dogs . . . fat dogs, skinny dogs, bun-length dogs, all-beef dogs, turkey dogs, chicken dogs . . . I really don't want to know what goes into any of them!  But they come out soooooo tasty!  I've recently had Lucky Dogs on Bourbon Street in N'awlins and Middle-Eastern Dogs? . . . on the streets of New York City.  (I call them Middle-Eastern Dogs because it seems that these hot dogs stands are run mostly by middle eastern guys who also offer shish-kabobs and a variety of other ethnic treats.)  

But NONE are better than my smoked dogs at home!  And now, a new discovery, thanks to Jose's Mom and Michelle:  Smoked Hot Dogs with Honduran Curtido.  OMGosh!  This is a little treat from heaven.
Empty jar + Full Jar of Jose's Mom's Delicious Honduran Curtido

One day, I had been invited to Jose's mom's house for a Honduran dinner where I noticed this huge jar of "stuff" in purple juice.  I asked Jose what it was, and he turned up his nose and said, "oh that's my mom's curtido."  To which I asked, "what is it?  Can I try some?"  "Sure, he said, have at it."

Jose and his sister clearly do not like it, but it was very intriguing to me.  So . . . one bite, and I was HOOKED!  This "stuff" is delicious!  From what I can discern, it consists of red cabbage, red onions, jalapeños, vinegar, and south-of-the-border spices.  And it goes on EVERYTHING!

Michelle came over, tasted it, and remarked how good it would be on hot dogs . . . so we smoked some . . . and she was right!  There's no better hot dog combination that we've found yet!  So . . . 4th of July . . . . . we've got fireworks ready!  Dogs and curtido ready!  Let Freedom Ring!

Hot dog and wine party anyone???  How do you like YOUR dogs?