The Fresh Loaf

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Need a Chicago style hot dog relish recipe

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clazar123's picture
clazar123

Need a Chicago style hot dog relish recipe

I can make killer buns (thanks to TFL) and buy the Vienna beef hot dogs but I cannot find a recipe for the relish to go on my dogs. I'm into making my own kraut and pickles but have never been able to find "the recipe" for this relish. I'm not even sure if the "real thing" is made with cucumbers,cabbage or green tomatoes. I have tried different variations and never achieved the right texture and flavor. I believe cloves are an important ingredient in the spices.

I have searched extensively for an "atomic" Chicago hot dog style relish recipe that has been tried and verified as being close in flavor and texture to the real thing. Even Google has failed me. I want a recipe that has been vetted and approved.

 Has anyone here actually ever made the relish I am talking about? I hope so!

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Are you looking for the sweet relish or the dill one?

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The Chicago Style hot dog relish is a very specific relish. It is sweet and a vile green (though I wouldn't make it so as the color is from adding artificial food color). It used to be called "Atomic" relish because it was "invented" during the atomic bomb era and was considered to be glowing. A popular marketing trend at the time. (Atomic does not refer to hot/spicy-it is not hot with pepper.)

I have tried many sweet relish recipes over the years but was never quite able to emulate the texture and flavor. With all the reverse engineered recipes out there and the "Chicago dog" following, I would have thought a recipe would be out there somewhere, esp since it is the heart of the Chgo style dog.

Regards.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

I don't eat relish, since I don't care for it, so I wouldn't know what should be in it at all, but I found a link that tells about it.  Here's the link if you want to check it out.  Hope this helps you out. http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/hot_dogs_and_sausages/chicago_hot_dogs.html

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Thank you for the link. I grew up in Chicago and know all about some great "hot dog stands" and what the ideal dog is (and is not). I'm trying to find a recipe that someone has devised for the unique relish. Apparently, it is an uncommon thing to seek. I have googled under every variation I can think of for the following key words : sweet relish,chicago style relish,chicago style hot dog,picalilli,hot dog relish,atomic,neon green,sweet pickle relish. I can come up with tons of recipes but none  mention a "Chicago Style Hot Dog".

 The one statement that the link had wrong is that  "any sweet relish will do". That is written by a non-afficionado and definitely sacriligeous. In my book the relish marries all the flavors: hot-sweet-salty-tart-smoked.

Any Chicago area,hot dog afficionado picklers willing to share a treasured recipe?   

The quest continues. If you have any suggestions for other forums to explore, I'd appreciate it. I've been here for several years and find there is usually a quick response to recipe requests for items served with bread.

Thank you,all, for your patience with my obsession.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Here's another link for you to check out.  If your read some of the posts, it gives your ingredients, and on another post gives your a recipe.  Probably still not what you are looking for but that's what I've come up with so far.  http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Hot-dog-Relish-m2642-p2.aspx

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I think this is what you are looking for. It makes a great relish and is what I used to put on my Chicago dogs years ago.

 

Cucumber Relish

4 cups ground, unpeeled cucumber ( about 4)

1 cup ground green pepper- seeded of course ( about 2)

1/2 cup ground sweet red pepper ( about 1)

3 cups ground onion

3 cups finely diced celery

1/4 cup salt( use canning salt)

3 1/2 cups sugar

2 Cups Heinz white vinegar

1 tbsp. celery seed

1 tbsp mustard seed

Use the coarse blade of a grinder. Combine all veggies in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, cover with cold water and let stand for 4 hours.

Drain thoroughly in a colander and press out all excess liquid.

Combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seed adn mustard seed. Bring to boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in drained veggies, simmer for 10 minutes.

Pack into pint canning jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Put on canning lid and band.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. This makes 5-6 pints.

Make sure that you don't boil the filled jars too hard or the celery seed might become stuck between the lid and jar rim which would prevent the jars from sealing.

I hope this is what you were looking for!