Hot Dog!

Growing up with bland, boiled, generic hot dogs has put me off hot dogs about 90% of the time. They’re about as exciting to me as a scrubbing bathtubs on a Tuesday afternoon. The Mr isn’t as offput by them however, so I occasionally find a way to work them in to a meal to please us both. One thing I do love is exploring a variety of flavors, so it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept.

I’ve never had a Chicago-Style hot dog. When we go to ball games, I (perhaps irreverently) never get a hot dog. I generally go for nachos or garlic fries or even the ice cream in the helmet! But if I ever make it to a game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, you bet your… well, you know… I’ll be trying a famed Chicago Dog! There’s even a festival dedicated to the beloved Chicago-Style Hot Dog.

The Chicago Dog Festival may be behind us now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t maintain the spirit of the festival long after it’s passed. The only hitch is that we’ve been trying to eat a little better, eat ore veggies lately for most of our meals. This brings me to Rachael Ray’s recipe for Chicago Dog Salad! She eliminates the bun and ramps up the veggies so you can eat more guilt free!

The dressing starts with your traditional yellow mustard but gets layers of punch from other ingredients. True to form, and because this recipe was blessedly open, I made some familiar concessions. I opted for my favorite Bragg’s ACV for the vinegar. I chose a mixture of Carrington Farms liquified coconut oil and Portuguese olive oil for the oil. I used my favorite Marketside Super Blend in the place of the cabbage blend requested.

The only remaining issue was making the dogs more palatable. The big drawback for me was the flavor of boiled hot dogs. It still generates a gag reflex even thinking of it. A giant way of improving the flavor for me is by choosing good quality (perspective), Applegate Farms all-beef dogs and grilling them. It can be over a propane flame or a charcoal flame. It doesn’t seem like it makes much difference, but improves the flavor VASTLY.

The salad was surprisingly simple, but fun! The flavors were fresh and alive. All the textures were so right! One caveat was that despite it being good, it wasn’t 100% up our alley. It was fine for one night, but probably not something we’ll go for again.

What is your favorite way to have hot dogs?

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