A hotdog worthy of being a friend for the ‘slaw in my previous post



A HOTDOG WORTHY OF BEING A FRIEND FOR THE CREAMY TAKE-AWAY JOINT ‘SLAW

Serves 4

(wine pairing – domestic beer in a paper bag)

4 hotdog buns
4 frankfurters or whatever sausage you like in your buns. Wink, wink.
2 onions, peeled, sliced and sautéed until browned
2 -3 dill pickles, sliced
Enough grated cheese to make you happy
Ketchup
Mustard
Creamy take-away joint ‘slaw (recipe previous post), to serve

Just a little FYI about how you compose your hotdog. You can put it together however you see fit and I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it. Unless you do that thing that people who make hotdogs seem to enjoy doing these days where they do the zig-zag of ketchup and mustard over the top of the finished hotdog including all over the bun. Do you know what I’m talking about? I cannot abide that shit. Not at all. Don’t do it.
Also, I am happy if the ‘slaw is served piled high onto the dog or on the side. Either works for me.

Chow-chow down down

chow chow
This is the sort of condiment that revolutionizes my life.

It combines a heap of my favourite vegetables in a witch’s cauldron and after a few low mutterings of some kind of voodoo type black magic (or possibly it was just the ramblings of a boozed up and disheveled old carnie… or even more possibly it just needed a few minutes simmering on the stove top) those ingredients come out of that cauldron and they have transformed into a magical sweet-sour-pickly-salad-relishy-slaw type thing.

Now if that description doesn’t scream multi-purpose to you I don’t know what will. Literally, this stuff is as multi-purpose as the milk crate in your first share house, or the Thai lady-man, or the corn cob to the hillbilly farmers son.

And, if for no other reason, it is certainly worth making hotdogs just to try it out. So then you get to eat hotdogs too… I over explained that didn’t I…

Don’t even worry about it. This thing is coming at ya for the win!

Cook it in a pot
Cook it in a pot

I made some hotdogs so I had something to put my chow-chow on
I made some hotdogs so I had something to put my chow-chow on

The chow-chow was real good good
The chow-chow was real good good

CHOW-CHOW

2 capsicum (whatever colour), chopped
1 large green tomato, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
¼ green cabbage, chopped
1 long red chilli, or more if you like it hotter, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric

• Combine vegetables and salt, cover and chill for 6-8 hours
• Rinse and drain mixture and combine with all other ingredients in a large pot
• Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes
• Store in the refrigerator for at least a few weeks or seal in serialized jars and store for fricking ages
• Make a hot dog just so you have something to put your chow-chow on
• Chow-chow. Clearly so good they named it twice!

Seal it in jars and get a nice pic with it next to your wood heap. Very natural darling
Seal it in jars and get a nice pic with it next to your wood heap. Very natural darling

Jennee’s Sunday Spread… and I’ve got no quarrel with Monday

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I got no quarrel with Monday. I know people who don’t like Monday at all and would smile if they saw it shot dead in the dusty street of an old western town.

Me, I’m like, “Monday what the fuck is going on my brother/sister?” (I haven’t decided on the anatomy of Monday yet)

“Not much white boy”, says Monday, sounding much like an African American stereotype from a 90’s comedy. “What’s doing with you?”

“Just growing a beard and shit,” I would say. “Coming off the back of a fully sick weekend. Ate lots of really good food and drank a couple of tasty tasty beverages and hung out with a bunch of good kents*. Good times all ‘round. I’m not going back to work until Wednesday either, so I’m just going to relax into this whole “new week’ thing.”

“Nice steez”, say Monday. I carry on as if I didn’t hear him/her though, as I am not actually sure what “steez” means.

I return to the couch where I reflect on the conversation that I have just had with a day that I have turned into a weird, androgynous, Chris Rock-esque type character. I decide there is nothing strange going on here. I have nothing but the sound of my cousin, Amelia, vacuuming in the background as the sound track my normality. On a side note, if Amelia ever asks you if she might stay for a while, I would suggest that your reply would be a clear “yes”. She is an absolute dream to have about. She is at least as OCD as Jennee with her cleanliness, even down to the arrangement of the cushions on the couch. And to top it all off, she doesn’t smell at all. You probably don’t know Amelia though, rendering this information I have just conveyed to you useless.

Suck it.

Burgers, sausages, oven chips and a heap of good shit to whack into the buns including home made kimchi and cucumber kimchi. Hashtag mynewfavourites
Burgers, sausages, oven chips and a heap of good shit to whack into the buns including home made kimchi and cucumber kimchi. Hashtag mynewfavourites

Get amongst that shit
Get amongst that shit
That bbq got the big thumbs up from Jennee's brother Queenie
That bbq got the big thumbs up from Jennee’s brother Queenie

We combated the 40C heat with a cracking barbecue, a bunch of good kents*, cold beverages and plenty of pool time. The kids were still in the pool at 8pm, which meant more drinking time for us… I did question weather this may be a prime example of bad parenting but my brother Matt informed me that it was in fact good kidding. I like the words that man says.

Falafel and friends
Falafel and friends

Tomato salsa
Tomato salsa
Bean salad, tzatziki and flat breads
Bean salad, tzatziki and flat breads
Flatbreads and falafely goodness
Flatbreads and falafely goodness

To top off our eating of delicious things, Jennee and Amelia prepared a kickass feast of vegetarian stats for her now legendary “Sunday Spread”. The fresh, good, falafely, salady din dins was just what the doctor** ordered. Like, I literally ordered it. I spoke with Jennee from my place of work via the electric telephone, when she inquired as to what I may want for my evening meal, to which I replied that it should be something fresh, good and salady to combat the small farm I had consumed the previous night.

All good team.

Here is the recipe for the flat breads that Amelia made to go with the falafel. Happy Monday you bunch of good lents.

Grillin' flattys
Grillin’ flattys

AMELIA’S COULD-HAVE-BEEN-A-JAMIE-OLIVER-RECIPE YOGHURT FLAT BREADS

300g self-raising flour
300g greek yoghurt
Seasoning

• Mix it all together
• Roll or press it out so it resembles little flat breads
• Brush with butter or oil in fry or grill for a minute each side
• Eat in your face with some other good shit

*Good kents; A term of endearment. Something you call your closest friends. Only in Australia. (Not the actual spelling of the phrase but hopefully you get the picture because there is no way in hell I am writing the actual word because if my mother ever saw it she would take her 39 year old son by his ear, get the soap out of the bathroom and ram it down his dirty little gutter mouth)

**not an actual doctor, but I am more than happy to take a look for you

Wooli part 4… Cervapcici (Skinless Sausages)

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These are some tasty little Croatian/Serbian (I certainly won’t be taking sides in that one) sausages. Tasty little skinless sausages, much like circumcised penises except tastier… not that I would know. No circumcised throbbing member for me, thank you. Cevapcici sure. Throbbing member no thank you.

It is suggested that a fitting accompaniment to these little circumcised penises is avjar and sour cream. Avjar is a roasted capsicum and eggplant condiment, but as I have exactly zero eggplant and capsicum in my possession and also the shop in this village has zero knowledge of the existence of such exotic fruits and/or vegetables, I shant be making that. Sour cream is cream that has been soured. Once again not in my possession and far too exotic for this place… I could wait for them to order it but the next supply boat is not due from the Caribbean spice traders for another two months. Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not complaining about the cessation of any link to society these little places seem to experience. In fact that is what draws me to them the most. It’s the type of place where I could board myself in and write a book or two… and possibly end up in part 2 of The Shining. One just needs to remember to bring supplies and use what is on hand, or face the journey back to the nearest civilized major center. Which I may add is neither “that civilized” nor at all on the cards for me. So making use of what I had was my motto for the day. My brain conjured up this so-quick-I-can’t-believe-it tomato relish, which is quicker than the gypsy’s hand into your back pocket at the town fair. Also a fennel sauerkraut number made it’s way from that same brain, through my hands, into a pot and onto the table with the sausages and relish.

Mixy mixy
Mixy mixy
Form into little penises
Form into little penises
Fry little penis, fry
Fry little penis, fry
On the table like a baws
On the table like a baws
Get in my belly
Get in my belly

These sausages are well worth a try. Tasty eating right there.

CEVAPCICI HOTDOGS for 4

SKINLESS SAUSAGES (CEVAPCICI) (makes 10)
300g beef mince
200g pork mince
½ brown onion, grated (grate the other half for your quick tomato relish)
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon paprika
Seasoning
• Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Really thoroughly. There’s nothing worse than something like this when one bite contains all of the salt and spice
• Form into little penis like sausages, about 10cm long. Slap them about a bit if that makes you feel good
• Fry sausages in a pan over medium heat, with a splash of oil. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until done, turning every 2 minutes so they don’t fuse to the bottom of the pan
• Eat in hotdog buns with fennel ‘kraut and quick tomato relish if that is what you desire

FENNEL ‘KRAUT
2 cups of your finest home made sauerkraut or store bought styleez if that’s all you got
1 medium bulb fennel, sliced
• Sauté fennel in a little oil until soft
• Add sauerkraut and warm through

QUICK TOMATO RELISH
½ brown onion, grated
1 400g tin crushed tomatoes or 400g tomato passata
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar (I found some red wine vinegar in the pantry)
Seasoning
• Chuck everything into a pot and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for five minutes until thickened slightly
• Check seasoning as the salt will really bring the flavours out of the relish and into your mouth
• Cool and serve

Nom nom nom
Nom nom nom

The WTF Hotdog

You gotta have sausage for a hotdog
You gotta have sausage for a hotdog. You also need sausage if you want to be a man… we shall concentrate on the hotdog today though

The more astute amongst you would have noticed that there was no “Jennee’s Sunday Spread” this week. That is because Jennee joined me in my kitchen this weekend as my kitchen hand was away and quite frankly, I just think she was keen to hang out with me a little more. So she certainly did not have the day to prepare her usual Sunday feast… plus she did consume a lot of alcoholic beverages the previous night. To say that she should not have been allowed to wield a knife on this day would not be a strong enough description of her condition. At one stage of the day I actually asked her to wield a real live knife, to which her response was a look of fear combined with what can only be described as delirious laughter. Not the response I was looking for, but we would carry on nonetheless.

I too was feeling crusty, but I damn well just had to deal with it. It was a straight up case of “we had made our bed and now we had to damn well lie in it”… even if it was a really shonky job of making the bed and the mattress had piss stains and other questionable textures on it. Our friend Em helped us make that bed though, and because of that we are more than happy to lay blame on our crustiness fair and square in her lap. You see, Em has recently purchased a house (which shall be known as our “mattress”) so felt it was only fitting that she should have a house warming party. Sure thing. Who wouldn’t? We thought we would stay for a few drinks (which we will later call our “sheets” and there shall be three of them and they shall be to the wind*) and then be back home in bed at a decent hour as we both had to work the next morning.

Needless to say, we had more than a few drinks (sheets), we did not go to bed at a decent hour (doona), and it’s all Em’s fault.

Anyway, several hours after I got my ragged ass to work, Jennee appeared. Damn. I had forgotten how much Jennee can annoy the shit out of me when she working with a hangover. It was like working with the offspring of a monkey and a galah that someone had trained to dance around and poke me and taunt me with silly words. That woman is seriously just effing disastrous. Some may say it is my comeuppance for being quite annoying on a daily basis but those people who say that should just shut their damn cake holes!

Anyway, the short of the story is that she survived the day, just. But there was no way in hell there was going to be a Sunday feast coming from Jennee… just mumbles and disenchanted sighs.

So I shall tell you about a hotdog we had last week.

I had mine with the lot
I had mine with the lot

This was not the humble hotdog I remember from my youth. I have memories of some kind of bright red sausage shaped thing of un-disclosed origin, pulled from the swampy looking steamy water and then slapped into a warm bun and doused in tomato sauce (or ketchup… sometimes I like to clarify things like this as I do realise that the audience of this blog has reached numbers larger than three or four, and are from all corners of the globe. Corners of the globe? Where the fuck did that come from? Corners of the round globe? Oh dear me… Deary deary dear me… I need to move on…).

Nom nom nom
Nom nom nom

Well the days of the humble hotdog are nothing but a distant memory to present day Grazza, as now, if I am delving into the world of hotdog, I shall be delving into the world of the WTF hotdog (yes his moniker was gained from his close relative the WTF Nachos. This shall also be the moniker given to any old school junk food I tamper with and bring back from the brink of a sad, sad culinary death). This is one souped up dawg. This hotdog walks into my home as a 1978 Datsun 120Y, and hits the table looking looking like a Maserati… a black one with bum warmers in the seats and espresso maker on the dash. It has even been tampered with by the guys from “Pimp my ride” so now it has a custom sun deck and spa…

It’s hard to tell where the sense ends and the dribble begins some days…

Cut it in half if you can't fit the beast in your face. I did it purely to show you what was going on in there...
Cut it in half if you can’t fit the beast in your face. I did it purely to show you what was going on in there…

WTF HOTDOG with sauerkraut, onion jam, cheese, pickled cucumber relish, tomato sauce & yellow mustard
Bratwurst sausages (you need at least one each, but definitely two if you’ve got a little booze flowing through your system)
Hotdog buns (a similar amount to the sausages would be good)
Home made sauerkraut, onion jam, tomato sauce and cucumber relish (recipe below), to serve
Store bought cheese and yellow mustard, to serve
• Get all of your condiments ready if you are making them yourself
• Get your bratwurst cooking
• Wrap buns in alfoil and warm in a low oven for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and leave buns in there until sausages are ready
• Grate cheese
• Warm sauerkraut or don’t. That’s up to you
• Put it all on the table and let everyone go crazy
• WTF!

Pickled cucumber relish
Jennee spoke of a relish they put on their hotdogs in America. I didn’t really know what she was talking about so I made this up… it worked just fine.
½ cup chopped pickles/cornichons/gerkins
½ brown onion, diced
1 jalapeno, chopped
• Put all of those ingredients in the food processer and pulse until you are happy with the consistency

*three sheets to the wind. To be drunk or inebriated.

Paul’s Caul – Fennel in all its glory… & ‘the Lido’ crew

We seem to be doing more requests of late and that means someone must actually be reading this, so kudos to us!

Today’s request is from another blogger named “pantryobsession” and we like her for several reasons, her name is cool and she likes us… both brilliant reason’s.

The request is in the same format as my last post, it’s one ingredient, one sweet dish, one savoury dish… and my chosen ingredient is Fennel. No one has clarified whether it’s fennel seed, bulb or the herb so I ‘ve taken it upon myself to use whatever I wish. For those of you that know me would know that I have quite a liking for this product in all forms except the herb, I don’t like that at all!!!

I’ll get back to what I’m going to make in just a while but first I thought I’d take you all to work with me.

I have several different workplaces, I’m part owner in a catering company, I work in a restaurant 3 days a week and for privacy reasons we shall call it “the lido” and I also dance for money at an establishment called “Men, Men, Men” but it’s “the lido” that I want to take you to because it is a fun place where every body knows your name and your always glad you came… oops that’s cheers! But it’s a lot like that place except for well just about everything.

But when I was given this challenge if you can call it that, I instantly thought of “the lido” as it has fennel in both a sweet and savoury dish on the menu. The savoury come’s in several forms from a banging fennel and pernod puree served with pork belly to simply shaved fennel in a salad with the fish, the sweet form of fennel is fennel seed praline and its simple yet utterly delicious.

Let me paint a little picture of this kitchen and its crew, it’s the first kitchen I’ve ever worked in that is made up of mostly women, and not your usual kitchen type’s (you know what I’m talking about ex shot-put champions which have more facial hair then me) instead they are all top notch both cooking and looking (well almost all) the rest of the crew is made up of several nationalities we even have a pet jordie that pumps out an amazing array of pastries. Everything is made in house (as it should be) and all is produced with a certain integrity, which gives me tingles in places I really shouldn’t be tingling in.

If you ever get a chance to work in a professional kitchen (make sure it is professional as if its not, its definitely not fun) grab the opportunity because it really is fun, nothing beats the characters you find in kitchens, if you’re lucky you’ll find a kitchen with a head chef that thinks she’s hilarious (she is quite funny) a pocket sized larder chef that’s got a very dirty mind, a pastry chef willing to speak like a cockney all day with you even though neither of you are from London and an array of like minded individuals. And what is evident from the get go is how with a well organized and professional crew, great food is produced easily… so a tip of the cap to “the lido” crew you’re a good bunch.

Ok I guess I’d better get back to my challenge, just to let you know I actually as I’m writing this have no idea what I’m going to give you. I know what you want me to give you! But that is either impossible or improbable, so take your mind out of the gutter.

I’m thinking I want to use the bulb for a dessert so now to try and blend a dish that already exists… so I now stop writing and open my recipe book… alright I’ve found it, I’m going to make…

‘Fennel & palm sugar panna cotta’ served with a ‘chilli citrus salsa’

400ml cream
200ml milk
75g palm sugar (grated)
50g castor sugar
1 medium sized fennel bulb (washed and chopped in rough pieces)
2 sheets of gelatin

• In a saucepan heat the cream, milk, both sugars & the fennel until it simmers then allow the fennel flavour to infuse, this should take 30 minutes or so.
• Then soak your gelatin sheets in cold water until soft, then whisk them into the cream mixture
• Strain the mixture and pour into either plastic dariole moulds or glasses
• Allow setting for several hours, best to leave over night.

To make the chilli citrus salsa, simply segment 1 lime, 1 lemon and 1 orange and mix with 1 chilli cut into julienne (look it up) and 6 leaves of chiffonaded mint (also look it up)

To serve, either remove panna cotta from mould and serve with salsa or top the glass with salsa.

‘Caramelized fennel hot dogs’

This is not as much of a recipe as it is a concept, simply cook off thinly sliced fennel bulb with butter, salt and pepper until they are nice and coloured then whack them in a roll with your favourite sausage… BAM

As I’ve stated before swap onion for fennel in your favourite recipes to bring them to life… imagine a fennel bulb bolognaise or potato & leek soup with fennel… Amazeballs!!!

“I have to admit I am generally smiling when I notice that Pauly has sent me a new post, and this was no exception. It’s the highlight of my otherwise mundane existence. No, actually the highlight is going to the toilet in the morning but the posts are probably second place… just thought I’d let you know. PS. my next sweet and savoury challenge is dropping soon and the ingredient is choko…” Grazza