Monday, November 9, 2009


I always find it hard to believe that amongst all the food that I can eat when in New York, the first thing I have to have straight off the plane is a slice of pizza!!! Man, it just cracks me up!!! I like to think myself a health conscious eater (well, give or take a holiday here or there), but it made me think that the craziest cravings that I often have ever since I moved away from the tri-state are, are the simplest and most attainable things ever (back home, that is!!) I sometime get that delicious taste of "dirty water" hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard, randomly just like I sometimes would give anything for a warm salty pretzel from the corner vendor on a cool night!! Trust me, my mouth is watering as I type!!  I had the opportunity to go back home a few weeks back and I decided I was going to put away any healthy thoughts and I was going to eat it all in homage to my home cravings.....I wanted the best of New York, "dirty water"and all!!!

I began my eating journey with a hot dog!! Yes the glorious link between a soft delicious bun!!!

Though I do love the street vendors style with the sauerkraut and mustard, I had to go back to my high school stomping  ground and really do it right.  I dragged my mother down to the West Village to come and have a Gray's Papaya hot dog with me (she really enjoyed it to say the least!!).....they are amazing especially when you get them with the griddled onions AAAND you can get 2 hot dogs and a soft drink for $4.25 - in NYC, that's nearly free!! But, get this if you are on a smaller budget than that, you can get a tasty hot dog for just $1.25!!


They are made fresh by the second and they are opened you can have them day, night, breakfast lunch and dinner.....just like everrything else in New York!!!

Have two or four, as many as you'd like....they are worth every calorie!! They are oh so good!!


Gray's Papaya West Village
402 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10014
at 8th St.


Can't take a trip to New York City.....not to worry, make it at home and have a little taste of the city on your table.

Just follow these easy steps and indulge...

New York Hot Dog (serves 4)
w/Sabrett-style Onion Sauce

Onion Sauce 
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cornstarch

1 tbsp tomato paste**
1 tbsp inexpensive balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large red onions, peeled thoroughly and sliced thin
1/4 tsp table salt
2 cloves of pressed or minced garlic

**You can substitute tomato paste with 2 tbsp of ketchup

**Red onions often have an extra layer of tough paper under the outer layer. Make sure you remove it

Combine the water, cornstarch, tomato paste, balsamic, mustard, brown sugar, hot sauce, and cinnamon in a cup or bowl and stir it thoroughly with a fork or whisk until the lumps are no longer visible.

Warm the oil in a large skillet, not a non-stick, over medium high heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with the salt. This helps pull the moisture out. Move them around occasionally with a wooden spoon so they don't burn. Cook until the edges start to brown. Whatever you do, do not let them burn. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the liquid, stir, and rub the pan with the wooden spoon to scrape up all the flavorful, the brown bits on the bottom. Turn the stove to low and simmer with the lid on for 1 hour. Check frequently to make sure it is not burning and the water has not evaporated. Add water if needed. The final result should be thick, not runny, but not pasty. After an hour, taste and adjust salt and other flavors as you wish.

While the onions are simmering, you can begin cooking your dogs.

The hot dog
4 all-beef frankfurters
4 buns
Sauerkraut from the refrigerator section, not the can
Spicy brown Dijon-style mustard

"Dirty Water" style - In a sauce pan pour enough water to cover the franks you need to cook. Bring the water to a boil and add the franks. This will knock the temp back a bit so it should stop boiling, but dial the temp down to just above low so the water simmers gently. You do not want to boil a frankfurter, especially a frank with a natural casing because it can split open and spill its guts or some of its juices and flavor. Simmer for 10 minutes. If you don't plan to use them right away, you can keep them in water for hours safely as long as the temp is over 160F. (you can also just throw them on the grill which will give them an equally tasty flavoring with a grilled kick)

While the the dogs are cooking, warm the kraut in a pan or for 15 seconds in the microwave.

Begin to prepare the buns (Steaming your buns - Get a pot of water boiling. With tongs, hold the buns over the steam for about 30-60 seconds. [If you are doing dirty water dogs, this is the easiest method - just hold the buns over the boiling dogs instead].)

Place the frank on the bun, squirt on the mustard, add the onions, and then the kraut. Delight in the yummyness!!

The whole process takes about 1 hour from start to finish and if you get the family involved it will be fun and time will fly by quickly!!

Have a go at it and let me know how you did.......
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