Happy Labor Day! I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. The unofficial end of summer is here – I feel like summer flew by, but then again, I suppose I always feel that way. I might be the only person I know who is never excited about the arrival of fall because it means winter is right around the corner. And I am not a fan of old man winter. So today, let’s celebrate summer with one of my favorite foods, the Classic Chicago Dog.
Chicago Dogs are super simple to make, but they do require a few special ingredients to make them a true Chicago Dog. Number one is the neon green sweet relish. Number two is the sport peppers. Four, is the celery salt. And number five is the poppy seed bun. You have to have an all-beef hot dog, too. And yellow mustard. NEVER KETCHUP.
Diced onions, tomato slices and dill pickle spears are easy pantry staples. All beef dogs are easy to find, but I did have some trouble finding poppy seed buns. I got lucky at my third grocery store stop with “everything” buns. Maybe not traditional, but it’ll work in a pinch. You can buy the Sport Peppers and the Neon Green Relish on Amazon, like I did.
Traditionally, Chicago Dogs are boiled, not grilled. But if you’re grilling out, go ahead and throw them on the grill! Boil the dogs for about 4-5 minutes just until they’re heated through. I like to use tongs to pull them out of the hot dog water and set them on a paper towel to dry off. Let’s build our dogs!
How to Build a Chicago Dog
Lay a dog in a bun and then, on one side place a halved slice of tomato. On the other side of the dog, lay the pickle spear, cut side down. I halved one pickle spear so it’s not too thick.
Drizzle a zigzag of mustard, then add the neon green relish on the tomato-side of the hot dog. Sprinkle on the diced onions.
Now we’re ready for the celery salt; sprinkle a pinch of celery salt over the whole top of the dog and toppings.
Lastly, lay two sport peppers over the top. Now that’s a Classic Chicago Dog!
The look of this hot dog is what makes it iconic – the neon green relish and the sport peppers are what set it apart. But let’s say you want to make a Chicago Dog today, and you don’t live in the greater Chicago area, where sport peppers and neon green relish are readily available at the grocery store. Let’s talk about substitutions.
For the neon green relish, just use regular sweet pickle relish. For the sport peppers, use pepperoncini peppers with the stems sliced off. Can’t find a poppy seed bun, just use a regular hot dog bun. Don’t forget that celery salt though! It’s usually available in the spice section at most super markets.
And that’s a Classic Chicago Dog! I am not ready to say goodbye to summer, so I am gonna hold onto it as long as I can. Are y’all ready for fall? Are you excited for the crisp mornings, leaf peeping and pumpkin spice everything? Let me know what you love about fall; reach out to me on Instagram, or send me an email through my Say Hello tab. Happy Labor Day, take care and be well. xo Kelly
Classic Chicago Dog
All beef hot dog, dressed with the classic Chicago Dog toppings. Neon green relish, sport peppers, poppyseed bun, and don't forget the celery salt!
- Poppyseed Hot Dog Buns (or regular hot dog buns)
- All Beef Hot Dogs, like Hebrew National
- Ripe Tomato Slices, halved
- Dill Pickle Spears, halved lengthwise
- Classic Yellow Mustard
- Neon Green Sweet Pickle Relish, like Vienna (or regular sweet pickle relish)
- Diced White Onion
- Celery Salt
- Sport Peppers, like Marconi (or pepperoncini peppers)
Boil the desired number of hot dogs in water for about 5 minutes, until dogs are heated through.
Let the hot dogs dry off on a paper towel, then lay a hot dog in the center of the bun and lay tomato slices along one side of the hot dog.
Lay a dill pickle spear (cut side down) along the other side of the hot dog.
Drizzle a zigzag of yellow mustard over the hot dog.
Spoon neon green relish along the tomato side of the hot dog.
Sprinkle with diced onions and celery salt.
Place two sport peppers on top.
Calling All Cooks!
I’d love to feature some of your takes on Djalali Cooks recipes, so for the month of September, if you make any Djalali Cooks recipes, take a picture and send me an email with the picture of the dish you made.
Be sure to include any comments you have about the recipe and the process and your first name. If you’d like me to mention your town, please include that information too! Send images to email@example.com.
At the beginning of October, I will compile your images and feature your dish as part of a reader favorites round-up on the blog!