I know that usually on Friday’s post I go to a bar on Thursday nIght and have two beers and post the pictures from that outing. Well, it’s a long story that I don’t want to get into, but I couldn’t go out last night so instead I decided to stage my own personal hot dog war. Read on and I’ll explain.
One of the things I like about this blog is all the people I meet online and offline. One such person I’ve become friends with and we’ve traded emails is MBIP reader and sometime commenter, Kathy from Cleveland. After one of my mustard rants on the Peoria Hot Dog Wars, she emailed me, asked my address and said she was going to send me a couple of her favorite mustards. Nice! So this week the package arrived and, well, as Rod the Mod once sang: Every picture tells a story, read on!
Here’s the package from Kathy. I thought it looked rather large for just two jars of mustard! Let’s open it up!
A wall sconce? Well, that’s nice, but it’s going to be kind of hard to put that on a hot dog!
This was on top, what a cool envelope!
Inside was an actual letter! I can’t remember the last time I got an actual letter from someone. Just one more thing that the internet has ruined. Kathy wrote a nice letter inviting me to Cleveland and she assured me she’s neither a stalker nor crazy, she just loves her city and likes to show people around it. Well, I’ve been to Cleveland once, but I mainly saw bars on that trip, so somewhere down the road it would be cool to take a road trip there. Maybe MBIP pal Biff could meet us. Anyway, back to the box!
Off with the stuffing, this is getting exciting, I love getting things in the mail.
Wow, no wonder the box was so big, look at all the cool stuff Kathy sent. And she labeled two of them, there’s a “Bag O’ Mustard” and a “Bag O’ Candy.” Plus she included a can of her favorite Cleveland Chili Dog Sauce, beanless of course, some brochures on cool places in Cleveland and little paper prop jet airplane. This is too cool!
Kathy suggested in her letter that I could have my own hot dog war at home and I thought that was a wonderful idea. So I went out and got some supplies and now it’s time for a Taste of Cleveland from Peoria. Hello, Cleveland! (Full disclosure: This tasting actually went on for two days, I couldn’t possibly eat all this in one sitting.)
To sample the mustards and chili I got a hot Irish sausage, a bratwurst and a pack of Nathan’s Hot Dogs, some bakery fresh buns and two kinds of cheese. I’m going to cook them all the same, so I ‘ll go through the whole process once with the sausage and then the rest I’ll just featured the final cooked product. First I’m going to steam the sausage in this boiling water on the stove.
Plop goes the sausage. Fizz goes the water. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a joy this is!
Okay, after a few minutes steaming, it’s going under the broiler. And yes, it’s going to be broiled on a foil pizza pan. I don’t have a broiling pan. I’ve also only got one fork. And it’s plastic. So there.
And here's the finished product on a buttered and toasted bun. I had to cut the sausage in half, because it was too big for the bun.
I've slathered a large amount onto the broiled sausage. God, I love typing the word, "slathered!"
Wow, the mustard is fantastic and it really makes this Irish Sausage sandwich!
Next up is a bratwurst which I've steamed and broiled. I had to cut this one down the middle and then add part of it to fit the bun and now it's ready for the mustard.
Inglehoffer Stone Ground Mustard. Kathy said this was her favorite, so I'm anxious to sample it.
If you notice, I'm using an old school New York deli trick here by putting mustard on the dog and on the side of the bun as well. When you want extra mustard on a sandwich in a deli in New York, you order it with "mustard on both sides." A little hint for you mustard lovers the next time you visit the Big Apple.
Wow, this is the best mustard in the world! I agree with Kathy, this is my new favorite mustard. I need to get some of this to the No Wake Zone pronto!
Okay, time to pull out all stops and create a chili cheese dog complete with both of the mustards that Kathy sent us. We'll start with this can of Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce. It's the original, because it says so right on the can.
The chili is brewing on the stove and it looks and smells fantastic!
I've melted two different kinds of cheese on top of the toasted, buttered buns. That's Colby Jack on the left and Cracked Pepper on the right. I'm half tempted just to eat these the way they are!
I'm pulling out all stops on this one, both mustards are utilized, one on each side of the bun. The excitement is really building here!
In keeping with the double sided theme, I've added not one but two of the Nathan's Hot Dogs to this dish, which, by the way is not going to be a hand-held hot dog. My knife and plastic fork are going to come in to play with this dish when it's all done.
And on the eighth day God created chili in Cleveland and said: "Eat, you screaming sons of bitches...eat!"
Wow, this was beyond anything I've ever made! So who won this personal hot dog war? I did, thanks to Kathy!
And now time for dessert from the Bag O' Candy...
And of course maybe a beer or seven! Thanks again to Kathy for sending along a taste of Cleveland and we'll see you all tomorrow.
Bonus Paper Plane!
Along with the mustards, chili dog sauce, candy and brochures, Kathy sent me a paper plane. I’m not good at putting things together, so I was nervous as to whether or not I could assemble this thing.
Okay, this doesn't look too tough, let's see if I can assemble this into a proper paper plane.
Look, I did it! I think now would be a good time to cue up "Paper Planes" by M.I.A.