Chicago Dog Days of Summer

If I were a followed blogger, I’d have to apologize for the long silence.  Some day!  For now, it’s a good thing to have zero followers.  Summer arrived, and I started filling my free moments with being outside, gardening, cookouts, trips to the lake and general summer fun and relaxation.  I got re-inspired to return to our blog by an article I read recently in the Summer Made Easy Special Issue of Everyday Food Magazine called Bask Country about a tapas party with food prepared by Aran Goyoaga, a pastry chef, blogger and cookbook author, written by Jean Lear, photographed by John Kernick.  I read the lines “She started blogging as a way to keep track of the baking she was doing at home….Soon her serene, light-filled aesthetic–captured by her photographs as well as her prose found a loyal readership.”  Now, that is what I was thinking of when I started this blog.  I immediately jumped up and grabbed my camera and my laptop.  And then I encountered a bunch of boring computer and camera problems and had to save this post for another day.  Problems solved…  Here is my first attempt at recreating a close approximation of an authentic Chicago-style hotdog.

First, I had a little shopping to do in order to top the dogs properly.  Chicago dogs come with sliced tomatoes, mustard, onions, a dill pickle spear, a funny little pepper called a Sport Pepper, and a sprinkling of celery salt on a poppy seed bun.

Its been a hot summer, so an advantage to the Chicago dog is that it can be made on the grill.  I brushed the buns lightly with butter in order to help adhere poppy seeds to the top.

The meat version, served with a side of grilled sweet corn, with butter, pepper and salt, of course, and a few strips of bacon, for good measure.

The veggie version, is a close approximation of the classic chicago dog, except with with a vegetarian dog, and of course, all of the essential chicago dog fixings.  I enjoyed mine with a cob of grilled corn, a slice of watermelon and cukes & onions with dill, vinegar with salt, pepper.  A tasty escape to the Windy City!

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