Cookbook: Haute Dogs by Russell Van Kraayenburg
Overall Impression: Haute Dogs is a great, creative and informative cookbook that will make you look at hot dogs in a completely different way.
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve grilled or eaten a hot dog this summer. I mean, come on. Unless you're a vegetarian, you just can’t go through summer without a hot dog. At least this is the case for me. So, I love that Russell Van Kraayenburg actually wrote an entire cookbook focusing on these babies.
Recipes I Tried
- The Plain Jane, pg 27
- The Depression Dog, pg 31
- The Chicago Dog, pg 32
- Coney Island Dog, pg 35
- Texas Hot Dog, pg 36
- Italian Dog, pg 48
- Chili Cheese Dog, pg 77
- Seattle-Style Hot Dog, pg 83
Impressions of Haute Dogs
With Haute Dogs, we’re obviously not talking about plain Jane hot dogs or gourmet hot dogs you’ve seen before. We’re talking inventive, freakishly delicious, covered in condiments hot dogs. From south-of-the-border BBQ dogs to Japanese fusion dogs and even vegetarian dogs, everything is covered here.
I have to give it to Russell for putting together and writing such a fabulous, thorough book on hot dogs. Who knew there were so many ways to eat a wiener in a bun? What I love about this cookbook, aside from the variety of recipes, are the condiments! I’m all about toppings, sauces and condiments when it comes to my food, so I loved every single recipe in this book. Haute Dogs has recipes for chili, BBQ sauces, toppings, coleslaw, katsu sauce, mango chutney, remoulade, pineapple relish, arugula pesto, salsa verde, classic hot dog bun recipes and much more!
The book also starts with a little hot dog history, “Which Came First — The Bun or The Dog?” before moving into the basics of hot dogs. The author definitely did his homework because this cookbook is filled with history — history and background information about each and every single hot dog he has in here and then some. Did you know there are more than 10 ways to cook a hot dog?!
Cooking from Haute Dogs
Cooking from Haute Dogs was very straightforward. Anytime there was a special sauce or chili that needed to be made, you simply flipped to that page of the cookbook and went for it. Everything in the book is laid out really well and there is a photo for every single hot dog recipe, which I appreciate and love.
I can’t say anything negative about this cookbook because you totally get what you are expecting. There are no surprises here. Well, maybe one. Page 84. I’ll just say this: Wagyu beef hot dog and edible gold leaf flakes.
I love that this book shows you how versatile hot dogs can be and every foodie in the world can appreciate this. Russell truly turned ordinary hot dogs into something gourmet.
I made it a point to start with the dogs from all the places I have lived and so I promptly headed straight to the Texas Dog. Where I was born and raised. This is probably why I have a love affair with chili.
What Could Be Better
With every book that I read, yes even cookbooks, I love reading personal stories from the author. Russell opens the book with such a fun introduction, explaining his love affair with hot dogs — how in high school, he consumed hot dogs every day for months, and that the lunch lady knew him by name and would be sure to save extra hot dogs for him in case they ran out. I would have loved to have read more anecdotes about his hot dog experiences.
Haute Dogs is a must-buy for any hot dog lover or connoisseur. I love how this book opens your eyes to the many, many possibilities and broadens your thinking and creativity. Who knew there were so many ways to make and eat a hot dog? I'm definitely making a few more recipes in Haute Dogs before summer's end.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Haute Dogs by Russell Van Kraayenburg
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(Image credits: Alice Choi)