hot dogs

Noshi’s Coney Island

by Anne Maxfield on August 18, 2014

Accidental Locavore Noshis Hot DogsLike the Accidental Locavore did, you could pass Noshi’s for ages without it registering in your consciousness. But if you did that, you’d be missing out on a really good local hot dog joint. At the end (or the beginning) of Main Street in Poughkeepsie there’s a faded sign, a couple of tables plopped on the sidewalk, and a warm welcome when you walk in.

Accidental Locavore Noshis Burger

A family-run place, it’s usually Dave, his wife, or one of his daughters ready to take your order. While hot dogs, in various combinations, are the house specialty, everything we’ve eaten there has been great! There are almost as many hamburger variations as hot dogs, and if that’s not enough for you, there are a couple of salads and some great sandwiches.

Accidental Locavore Noshis GyroWhat’s spoiled me from all other local diners is their gyro. Actually sliced from a spit (instead of those weird, diner-processed slices), the meat is then sautéed on the flat top, giving you a mix of nicely browned bits along with some tender inner pieces. All this is tossed on a griddled pita with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomato and onions. Since I often leave most of the pita, Dave’s daughter whispered that you can order it as a salad. I’m not sure why it’s not as successful that way – maybe just too much lettuce in relationship to meat, but I prefer it as a sandwich (even if I eat it with a fork).

Accidental Locavore NoshisMy husband, when he’s not eating his way through the hot dog menu, loves the steak sandwich. This is high praise indeed from someone who comes from the home of highly-contested steak sandwiches – Philly! Real cheese and decent bread makes this a winner, and 168 miles closer. If Noshi’s were open past 5:00, I’d probably be cooking a lot less; as it is, Frank tries to keep it to a once-a-week lunch treat.

 

 

 

 

 

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Accidental Locavore Farm Box Week 1: Without a Box

by Anne Maxfield on June 7, 2012

Still in shock from the loss of the farm and my weekly box, the Accidental Locavore started to figure out a solution. First up, a trip to the Union Square Greenmarket, with a hugely optimistic idea that there would be cherries. No such luck, but found some new-to-me, spotted romaine lettuce from Eckerton Hill Farms. It was so pretty that it’s the June calendar photo. Strawberries were in season so I got a box and talked to the farmer about their CSA. Still not sure if that’s the direction I want to go.

Saturday found me at the farmers’ market in Millbrook.  It was pretty low-key, probably because the weather wasn’t very good (otherwise golfing, not shopping, would have been the preferred activity). I started talking to Jeff from Arch River Farm about getting a share of a pig (have to wait till March, as summer pigs are no good, according to Jeff). Somehow we started talking about hot dogs. He said he made the ultimate hot dogs. Always happy to support a man who is proud of his product, I picked up a pack for my husband, who loves hot dogs, and some Italian sausage for the pasta I was making that night.

Jeff was right, these were fabulous hot dogs! They were so good that the Locavore, who usually only eats them under duress, happily had two! The next day found Frank trying to concoct the onion relish that’s a staple on hotdog carts throughout Manhattan. Click here for the recipe.

Back to the CSA vs. farmers’ market quandary. Part of me likes the idea of just buying what I need at the time at the various farmers’ markets but the downside to that is just buying the old standbys and not being stretched by unfamiliar produce. The work-around would be to buy at least one unfamiliar thing every week. The spotted romaine fit that challenge (kinda, sorta…not really a stretch).

The other part wants someone else to present me with something to cook. I’m sure you’ve all been stuck at times, hoping for inspiration and the answer to “what’s for dinner?” With the surprise of the farm box, the nightly veggie question was solved with a quick glance through the fridge; yes, five weeks of eggplants can be extremely challenging, but the discovery of padrón peppers would make up for that in an instant!

So, while a solution still hasn’t manifested itself, I’m out exploring. What would you do?

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Frank’s Onion Relish Recipe for Hot Dogs

by Anne Maxfield on June 7, 2012

Here’s Frank’s version of the traditional New York onion relish for hot dogs. It makes about 1 1/2 cups and takes about 25 minutes.

Frank’s Onion Relish Recipe for Hot Dogs

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Condiment

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper ((chile powder is a good substitute, just not as smoky tasting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (granulated garlic, or finely minced fresh will work fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

Step 1
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook about 10 minutes until soft and starting to turn golden.
Step 2
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Delicious! I’m not sure how authentic it is, because, believe it or not, I’ve never had a hot dog from a cart in New York. Try it and let me know how he did.

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Accidental Locavore Liverwursts

The July Charcutepalooza challenge is to stuff an emulsified sausage, or smooth textured sausage…think hot dogs. Some of the options for the Accidental Locavore were bratwurst, hot dogs, or mortadella, but since there’s two of us, the thought of eating our way through a huge hunk of luncheon meat that neither the Locavore or her husband are particularly fond of, seemed like a non-starter. Boudin blanc was an option, but that’s kind of ho-hum in a French way (comme ci, comme ca?). How about liverwurst? It’s emulsified and happens to be one of Frank’s favorite sandwiches: on a roll with lots of onion and mustard. Personally, the Locavore only likes liver from two-footed fowl, but that’s a blog for another day.

The challenge with liverwurst, from what I understand, is finding pork liver. As it turns out, a few weeks ago, at the Brooklyn Kitchen for a pickling class with Rick Fields from Rick’s Picks (great pickles using all local goodies; if you don’t know about them, you should), what did a Locavore run into but a nice hunky (and local) pigs liver! Which is a roundabout way of telling you how I deviated from bologna to liverwurst via Williamsburg.

Accidental Locavore Pig LiverArmed with the liver and shoulder of a pig, the liverwurst is ready to proceed. The trick with forcemeats (chef-speak), which is what this is, is keeping everything really cold to ensure a very smooth, almost creamy texture. I don’t think my Kitchen Aid gave me a fine enough grind, even after two passes and while emulsifying the liverwurst-to-be, the Cuisinart passed out from abuse.

When everything was done, the Locavore ended up with one liverwurst in a hogs casing and another larger one which I rolled in Saran Wrap, then vacuum sealed. They then get poached, or for more chef-speak cooked sous-vide and cooled.

The final verdict? I thought the texture was a little too coarse and since I used fresh herbs from my garden, instead of dried, there were tiny specks of green, which you don’t see in commercial liverwurst.

Frank thought the same about the texture, it wasn’t as fine and creamy as what he’s used to. He liked the flavor a lot and is happily looking forward to packing a couple of sandwiches to take to the tennis matches. Be glad you’re not sitting next to him…

 

 

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