Having lived in both New York and Chicago, you'd think I'd have lots of rules about what can and cannot go on a hot dog. But as long as the finished product is tasty, and I can still taste the hot dog underneath, I'm open to anything. Chili dogs can be wondrous things, as can a Sonoran dog. One I genuinely admire is the slaw dog, which is exactly what it sounds like—a hot dog topped with a mound of coleslaw.
I wanted a slaw that was assertive—crunchy, acidic—but not aggressive. Basically, I wanted something more than the standard blended mess you can get at the grocery store, but nothing that would detract from the hot dog underneath. Mayonnaise provided the creamy base, but I cut it with a good helping of apple cider vinegar. Besides salt and pepper, I added a bit of celery seed and dry mustard. Done.
All that was left was to cook the hot dogs. This really can be done any way you'd like. Love to grill them over charcoal? Go for it! Want to mimic the dirty water dog formula of tossing them in simmering water? Be my guest. But in this recipe, I've included my favorite method, which steams them in a little bit of water to ensure even cooking, and then browns them in butter to finish them off. Each is slightly crispy, but not overdone. I also like to brown the buns in butter, but that's just me.
The final flourish is some mustard to help balance the creamy mayonnaise of the slaw. I'm really surprised how easily all this came together, and how quickly I managed to eat a couple of these. Of course, it also helped that I had fine natural casing Vienna Beef dogs to work with. Oh, and you may notice a few stray poppy seeds scattered on the buns. I actually attempted to remove all the poppy seeds from a Chicago-style bun, but failed to remove every single one. Sorry about that.
- For the Coleslaw:
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 head cabbage, core removed, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 quarts)
- For the Hot Dogs:
- 8 hot dogs, preferably with a natural casing
- 8 side-split hot dog buns
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
- Mustard, for serving
Make the Cole Slaw: In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, celery seed, dry mustard, and black pepper. Stir until combined. Add the cabbage, and mix until it is evenly coated in the dressing. Set aside.
Cook the Hot Dogs: Pour 1/2 cup water into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the hot dogs. Cook until the hot dogs are thoroughly warmed. If the water has not evaporated, pour any remaining water off. Add one tablespoon of butter. When it has melted, roll the hot dogs around until they are coated in the butter. Cook until the hot dogs are lightly browned on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining butter to the skillet, then add the buns, cut-side down. Cook until browned, about 1 minute. Rotate the buns. Continue this process until the buns are lightly browned on four sides, about 4 minutes total.
To serve, place one hot dog in each bun. Top all of them with mustard and a few spoonfuls of the slaw. Serve immediately.