Friday, August 9, 2013

Chicago style hot dog with polenta fries and garlic aoli

I think of hot dogs and burgers as cousins. They're related, but different in their own way. The basic skeleton of hot dogs and burgers are the same: you've got the meat tucked snug between the buns; but then the rest is up to you. You can make your hot dog or burger become anything you want it to be. The possibilities are endless.

Although I am always keen for a burger, the fact that there are less vegan hot dogs out there, I always get a bit more excited when I find one, or find a recipe for one. Now I'm not into fancy material things, but when it comes to my hot dogs (and burgers), I like the fillings to be fancy. I'm talkin' a real gourmet hot dog. None of that plain sausage in a bun business. I want there to be so many fancy fillings that I struggle to keep it from dripping out when I bite into the thing. That's the real hot dog experience. 

I haven't tried many of the vegan hot dog joints in Perth yet, but I will be sure to get on that ASAP. Until then, I'm quite happy to try some of the recipes that I find online. 

I came across the Chicago-style hot dog the other week and I wanted to try it because it was vegan friendly. There wasn't any cheese so it was easy to veganise. 

The hot dog consists of a sesame seed bun, sausage, tomato wedges, green pickle relish, diced onion, dill pickles, mustard, celery salt and sport peppers. If you're not drooling right now...then I just don't understand why not :P

Now for all you readers in America, these ingredients might be very easy to find, but over here is Perth, Western Australia, it's not that easy. I couldn't find any hot dog buns with sesame seeds, and I had no luck with the sports peppers either. Although I would have loved a more authentic Chicago-style hot dog, it still tasted really good once it was all assembled. 

Another similarity between hot dogs and burgers is that they both go great with a side of fries. I've never had polenta fries before, but I liked the sound of them so I baked some up to accompany my hot dog. 

The fries were nice and crispy and even my brother liked them. I whipped up some garlic aoli as well. This was much easier to do ever since I found vegan mayonnaise in the supermarket. 

This was such a good dinner. I was so sad to put that last bite in my mouth. 

Polenta fries
Original recipe from here

Makes up to 3 dozen fries


  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic minced)
  • ¾ tsp salt

  1. In a medium saucepan, add polenta, water, dried oregano, dried cilantro, garlic powder and salt and stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Grab a baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Spread the hot polenta evenly on the baking sheet until polenta is about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Put the baking sheet into the refrigerator and cool for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C. Use a pizza cutter and cut the polenta into fries that are about ½ inch wide. Remove the polenta from the baking sheet and re-line it with foil. Add the polenta fries to the foil and spray with cooking spray, then season with salt.
  4. Put the polenta fries into the oven for 15-20 minutes until polenta fries are lightly browned. Serve with tomato sauce, ketchup or aoli.
 Vegan Garlic Aoli

Serves 2

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients and mix well

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