Monday, November 19, 2012

Hot Dog alla Genovese


So I was making some pasta alla Genovese (that link is in Italian, so here is a slightly different recipe in English) the other day. I don't know why, but sauce alla Genovese seems to be a bit of a rarity around these parts. I could be wrong, but I don't think I have ever seen it on a menu locally. 

I kind of loathe recipe blogs so you can consult the above links for a starting point on your journey towards a personal alla Genovese recipe. The long and short of it all is as follows --

You take a crap load of onions --


-- some cheap cuts of meat (shanks, ribs, etc...) --


-- and simmer it all low and slow for many hours (of course there are other ingredients/steps. As I said, consult the recipes). 

In the end you are left with a thick, sweat/savory, meaty bastard of a sauce that -- for my money, has few rivals in the universe of sauces. Lightly dress a little quality pasta with the stuff and it is simply a very beautiful thing.


Anyhow, while I was eating a bit of this particular sauce something occurred to me. In my version I use a bit of white wine for acid and some crushed red pepper for heat. So here we have a savory, slightly spicy, slightly acidic, oniony, meaty substance. Remind you of anything? It sort of kind of reminds me of some good ol' fashioned hot dog sauce (here is my method for Capital Region style hot dog sauce production if you happen to be interested).

As it has been a quite a while since I have innovated anything to throw on top of a hot dog sausage (at least since my Capital Region style MacCheese Deli Dogs), I thought the time was ripe to create the Hot Dog alla Genovese.

As this was a spur of the moment hot dog endeavor, I ran up the way and grabbed a Stewart's Deli Dog.


I slathered the steamy sausage with a generous amount of the alla Genovese and sprinkled a bit of parmesan on top.


Wouldn't you know it? Somehow this just works. The Genovese has many of the same flavor/texture notes that I enjoy so much in Hot Dog Charlies' or Famous' sauce. It deviates a bit from the standard form as mustard or raw onion would be a bit strange, and the stuff is pretty sweet... Other than that the alla Genovese seems to feel right at home on top of a Deli Dog. Who would have thought?

I am sure that any Italian cook worth his sauce would cringe at this application of the alla Genovese. But they are just going to have to get over it because I like to put random crap on hot dogs. So there.




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