Monday, July 31, 2006

Haute Dogs

Un-American as it may be, I am not a huge fan of Hot Dogs. (Hey, my Mom didn't like pizza or ice cream, so it must be genetic. I don't really like Watermelon either.) I can eat them, if there's nothing else, but I'd rather have something different. Chalk it up to the "mystery meat" factor, or to eating too many of them skewered on branches and burned black as a kid at the lake, but usually I avoid them.

When we came to France, I vowed to try everything (except horse meat) without prejudice. (OK, no tripe either.) I would not make a judgement until I had eaten at least one bite, in the traditional way, with the traditional condiments. I found that rillettes (potted meats--don't worry, they're really good and not scary at all!), paté de foie gras, paté en croute, saucisse sec--all these things were delicious! Since I don't seem to have a cholesterol problem, I enjoyed them when I could, with no guilt.

However, the hot dogs--these, I still avoided. "They're not really French," I told myself. "They don't count."

Until one day, a few months back, when I was supposed to prepare them for lunch for me and my girls. P joined me in the kitchen, and her eyes lit up when I told her we were having "Knacki" for lunch. "Ka-Nock-eeeeee!" she squealed. (Yes, they pronounce the "K". I couldn't suppress the urge to giggle during our English lesson when she labeled the fork, spoon, and KA-nife.) I asked C how to prepare them, because since they were French Hot Dogs, I knew they would be done differently. We made them together, and I dug in, determined to not let my disdain for the pink pork product show to my girls. And, surprisingly, they were quite good!

Today, I went to the store to pick up food for dinner tonight and a few other odds and ends. Since our store is doing travaux, or remodeling, things were all in new places, and some stocks were considerably diminished. I was tired after a long day of housework, errands, shopping, 2 long walks with Lucy (she farted--I had no choice--it was BAD) and moving preparations, so I figured it was high time to treat Dr. B to a lovely Hot Dog Dinner. But, being a dinner in la Belle France, we wouldn't be having them on squishy buns with pickle relish!

After sitting on the phone (on hold) with Uhaul for 20 minutes, I wasn't in a very good mood when Dr. B came home. After giving him a 5-minute power nap, I passed the phone to him and went into the kitchen to prepare our evening meal. Cucumbers had been sliced and marinated with fresh lemon juice, fruity olive oil and salt and pepper, Viennois au Chocolat were ready and waiting (Merci, Nestlé!), and the flute had been sliced and prepared (Note*= flute is bread, not metal with keys and pads.) I popped our dinner into the oven, and called Jeff to the dinner table.

"What're we havin'?" he asked. "Hot dogs?"

*CRUNCH!* (crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch)

"These are pretty good!"

So, if you are so inclined, prepare some "Haute Dogs" yourself!

    Hot Haute Dogs à la Française

    4 hot dogs (2/person), heated and sliced lengthwise (microwave or heat in boiling water)
    1 flute or baguette of crusty bread
    dijon mustard (we use Maille)
    shredded emmental cheese (swiss-type)

    Slice the flute or baguette lengthwise (like you're making a sandwich) and cut into individual lengths. Spread with mustard, and top with hot dogs (the don't roll off if you split them first.) Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Broil until cheese is melted and browned if you like, bread is crusty, and hot dog is hot! Enjoy with crunchy pickles (Maille french cornichons are awesome! Try them if you can get them where you live.)

Bon Appétit!



At 11:33 PM, July 31, 2006, Anonymous ladyjicky said...

It got me thinking when you said you are American but do not like hot dogs all that much. I am Australian and I do not like beer and pies.
Now, I wonder - is there any French out there that are not fans of snails and frogs legs???

At 3:05 AM, August 01, 2006, Blogger La Rêveuse said...

There are--Jeff works with a gal who prefers chicken nuggets and pizza, and won't eat snails or frog legs (btw, I have rarely seen frog legs for sale or on menus here, not seemingly common now.)

I love snails, though. Mmmm!

At 6:22 AM, August 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are LOTS of French who won't ever eat snails and frog legs!

At 8:42 AM, August 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too dislike hot dogs and watermelon. Although I can't say it runs in our family, because my family thinks I'm nuts when I refuse to eat either of them. I blame the Dairy Queen for the hot dog disdain. I worked there and prepared enough of them that never again do I want to put one in my mouth. Bleh!
Your Cuz in ND

At 11:51 AM, August 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe because I like hot dogs, but have you tried the hot dogs from the street vendors? The way that they impale the baguette, then squirt the condiments in and push the hot dog in. The best one is by the Louvre, but that was oh so many years ago. The baguette makes all the difference -- try a gyros (by St. Germaine) and you'll see it is soooo much better in a baguette.

Love your blog, Mrs. B!

At 9:27 AM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a pal of Roxanne's, love your blog, and must suggest you use Budget and not UHaul. That 20 minute wait is just the beginning of the problems you will have with them. TRUST me. Go with Budget.

Anyway, thanks for the recipie! I'm going to try it. :)

At 1:06 PM, August 03, 2006, Blogger Starman said...

There is a little sidewalk stand just across the rue from Eglise de la Trinité that sells hot dogs made exactly the same way.


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