We’re coming up on the Fourth of July, which means that you’re about to do a whole lot of eating. And if you’re going to be cooking out by the grill, you’ll probably be making hot dogs.
There are a few tried-and-true methods for cooking up a dog that you’re welcome to employ, but if you want to take things to the next level, check out what Daniel Raffel’s doing at his Haute Dog Carte in Baltimore.
Raffel’s hot dogs aren’t so much a supplement as they are a full-sized lunch. Though he serves Sweet & Savory Filipino dogs, Spicy Italian Sausages, and a vegetarian dog “so everyone can stop by,” Haute Dog’s go-to, the HD Signature, is made with a quarter-pound black angus beef dog, and he serves it with condiments spread onto a French baguette sub roll that’s been hollowed out by a European spike toaster. (Think of it like a row of really hot, really sanitary trench knives.)
On the Signature, Raffel fills each roll with a tomato & onion jam, a bacon & onion marmalade, and authentic Dijon mustard before stuffing it with a quarter-pound frank that’s been slow roller grilling long enough to get hot all the way through. As Raffel details, the application of each ingredient varies so that, if you wanted to, you could stuff the dog into the roll, cut it open, and see equal distribution of ingredients throughout.
Now, obviously anybody firing up a grill in their backyard is going to have a tough time procuring all these amenities and appliances on such short notice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improvise for a rustic knockoff. Fortunately, Raffel was nice enough to provide a few valuable tips to help keep your homemade Haute Dog up to snuff.
On the Dogs:
“I tasted 20 different hot dogs before I decided on this one for taste. I didn’t even know the things existed, but when I tasted it, I noticed there was something really different about it. It also happens to be anabolic and steroid free, lower in nitrates and lower in salt than a comparable dog at a quarter-pound.
“We’re not selling health food by any means, but it’s certainly better than some other things that you can get out in the marketplace.”
On the Bacon & Onion Marmalade:
“I had it in production here for about a week and it tested very well, but I kept getting people asking about chili. I’m prohibited from making chili because I don’t have a hand sink. So a week or two into it, I woke up one morning and I thought to myself, Bacon. I can do something with bacon, because bacon is cured and the health department won’t get mad at me. So I whipped up a bunch of bacon & onion marmalade. I smeared the bacon & onion marmalade onto the roll with the other ingredients, and I ate that hot dog and had a really great “Ah-ha!” moment and said, ‘This is my signature dog. This is the one.’”
On the Dijon Mustard:
“You want to go with the extra-strong Dijon mustard. It’s really important that it’s from Dijon, because that’s the freshest mustard you can get in terms of the spiciness. And the taste… I was in love with it.”
On the Rolls, the hardest component to replicate if you don’t have a spike toaster:
“Pre-toast the roll with the hole in it, separate it out and divide it from the hot dog and the sauce. Later, take the roll, put it in the oven at 500 degrees — long enough to just rewarm it.”