East Texas Quarterly Magazine Summer 2015 - Page 13

Look What’s Cookin’ What started as a contest between friends to prove each other’s patriotism has become a nationally televised sensation. Every 4th of July, thousands of people descend upon Coney Island to witness the most unique sporting event in the world – the Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest. But there is more to the hot dog than seeing how many you can shovel down your throat in a matter of minutes. July is among other things, National Hot Dog Month. 1 large onion, cut into medium wedges ¼ cup sweet pickle relish Directions: Cook franks as directed on package. Fill buns with franks; place two tomato wedges on one side of each frank and two onion wedges on other side. Top with remaining ingredients. Makes four servings. When you celebrate Independence Day, be thankful for this great country that welcomes people from every land on earth—who come bringing their culinary heritage. That’s what has made the United States the most exciting place to learn world cuisines. Among all our national food holidays, July celebrates food holidays that are as American as apple pie (except apple pie is a European invention, and it’s Apple Turnover Day that gets celebrated on July 5th). Pick your food holiday and plan a celebration: National Baked Bean Month; National Bison Month; National Watermelon Month; National Grilling Month and National Ice Cream to name a few. Back to the hot dog. More than 50 years ago growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area one of our favorite hangouts was Casper’s Hot Dogs – home of the foot-long hot dog. CASPER’S HOT DOGS Ingredients: 4 foot-long beef franks 4 foot-long hot dog buns 1 small tomato, cut into 8 wedges 4 teaspoons yellow mustard Editor’s note: Hot dogs and buns were steamed at the original Casper’s. CHICAGO STYLE HOT DOGS Ingredients: 4 beef franks 4 poppy seed hot dog buns 1 small tomato, cut into 8 wedges 11