After the most recent season of Top Chef was complete we faced a desert of Top Chef emptiness until I put season 5 into my Netflix queue. This recipe was from an episode where the gang had to cook signature “hot dogs” and competed against a guy from a famous New York hot dog truck. I’m not a big fan of hot dogs. I find them gross. Once a year I’ll go to a Twins baseball game and eat (and, yes, enjoy) a Dome dog. But then I start imagining what’s in the hot dog and don’t feel so well. Also, once I stood in line behind a guy at the post office who was eating cold Oscar Meyer hot dogs straight out of the package like they were a snack bag of pretzels or something. Gag.
Based on Chicago chef Radhika Desai’s recipe, these “hot dogs” weren’t really hot dogs at all, however, but ground pork, beef and lamb formed into a comically phallic shape (I admit, I laughed and pointed this out to K — my 12-year-old-boy humor kicked in a little). Before this step, though, the meat was spiced with some fragrant masala sauce and Indian spices which made these some deeeelicious wieners. Okay, enough.
I got the pork, lamb and beef straight from farmer Diane from Nature’s Little Farm in Kellogg, MN (she makes deliveries to the Cities in the winter and hits up the farmers market in the summer) where all the critters roam the pasture and eat grass. The meat was rich and succulent and juicy and the Indian spices played off the earthiness of the meats perfectly. The one thing we would do in the future would be to add a little egg yolk or something as a binder as the meat kept falling apart as we were sauteeing the casing-free “sausages.”
The accompanying cucumber-cilantro salad contributed a nice cooling crunch. The “tomato jam” (really spiced tomato paste and mayo) added a creamy tang and the caramelized onions provided a sweet bite. We put it all together on grilled whole wheat and flax flatbread.
Juicy, delicious, many perfect bites and totally worthy of eating while in line at the post office.