Growing up in the Windy City, I have been groomed to love and respect the traditional Chicago style hotdog. So what is a traditional Chicago style hotdog, you ask? Well, there are a few variations depending on who you consult, but the basic ingredients remain relatively the same. And everyone agrees that a Windy City dog begins with an all beef kosher frankfurter, which is exactly what I’ll be purchasing for my Chicago style hotdog party! It’s true, I will be hosting a barbecue paying homage to this Windy City favorite featuring juicy franks with all the appropriate fixings. Here’s my menu:
First of all, I will go directly to the butcher for a few dozen or so all beef wieners. Next, I will hit the local bakery or grocery store for poppy seed speckled hotdog buns. And, yes, they must have poppy seeds. In fact, you may want to keep some toothpicks or dental floss handy for your party guests!
Now, I will search the grocer’s shelves for fluorescent green hotdog relish or piccalilli as it is sometimes called. Along with the relish, I will need to pick up tomatoes, which I will cut into small wedges and pickles that I intend to slice into slivers. I will also buy a few onions to dice, celery salt and of course yellow mustard. I will top my Chicago style hotdogs with whole, green sport peppers.
Normally a traditional Chicago style dog would technically be steamed; however, I am choosing to throw my franks right on the good old fashioned barbecue grill. I will also offer my party guests additional hotdog topping options such as: chili, grated cheddar cheese and grilled onions. And I plan on serving several side dishes like: potato salad, pasta salad, chips and coleslaw.
Now, there is just one final thing I will need to consider when planning my Chicago style hotdog party: ketchup or no ketchup, that is the question? True Chicagoans are adamant that ketchup has no place on a Windy City dog. Some local restaurants selling these beloved dogs will not even carry the condiment and snub their noses at customers who demand it. I, however, strongly disagree with this attitude and will be giving my party goers the ketchup option.
To really wow your Chicago style hotdog barbecue guests, consider sending or emailing a quirky hotdog themed invitation, featuring images of fully loaded franks backed by the famous city skyline!