Back from the land of the damned (populated by those with colds), I just received my sense of taste back this morning. Never one to ease back into things, a Colombian-style hot dog is on my mind. Actually, it's Colombian by birth but ethnically Hawaiian. Sounds sexy, right? It is.
Traditionally, these salchitas are heaped with toppings ranging from ordinary ketchup, mustard, mayo and hot sauce to coleslaw, crushed-up potato chips and pineapple sauce which is basically just a sweet and tangy thickened pineapple purée. I wrote a while back about pairing hot dogs and pineapple, something the NYC's most famous hot dog spots have been doing for decades. One of my favorite hot weather barbecue hacks is to simmer brats in beer-spiked pineapple juice before grilling for a flavor infusion and sweet, slightly charred crispy exterior.
Sweet, fatty, smoky, meaty, salty, tangy and crunchy. I need all those things together, and I need them right now because I couldn't even taste the kimchi I was eating by the quart in an attempt to taste something and I read somewhere that chickens that were fed kimchi were cured of bird flu. Which is not what I had. But if the chickens got better…
While I do love these hot dogs the way they're sold on the streets of Medellín and elsewhere, the package really does benefit from pineapple in its more natural form. Instead of pineapple sauce, I do pineapple relish: dice the fruit very finely, add a pinch of sugar and black pepper and mix it with apple cider vinegar, minced red onion, finely chopped cilantro and a splash of habanero sauce. Crushed potato chips on top adds crunch and a layer of umami to a hot dog that was already going to be really awesome.
And while I'm tasting things, tomorrow: incorporating into lunch a cheese so stinky everyone will vacate and my sandwich and I will have the office to myself.
More big flavors for lunch on Food Republic: