The Sean Dog

Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention. But could that really be true of a hot dog? Is there such a thing as necessity when it comes to a hot dog.

Sit back, friends, and let me tell my tale.

The Sean Dog

It all begins at our local Ralph’s supermarket (Krogers to you folks on the East Coast). I’ve become obsessed with the hunt for their “Woohoo” deals — items throughout the store which, due mostly to rapidly approaching “sell by” dates, have had their prices precipitously cut and have been flagged with a little yellow-and-red “Woohoo!” sticker. It has the same appeal as mushroom hunting or garage sale-ing: sometimes you find something, sometimes you don’t. More often than not, I make staggering discoveries — $14 Italian La Tur cheeses for $4; $20 dry-aged ribeyes for $6.

I have friends who refuse to eat anything that has reached its “sell by” date, as if at the stroke of midnight of that particular date, it has turned to poison. But those in the know will tell you that “sell by” dates are somewhat arbitrary and subjective things. In the case of a jug of milk, for example, it may be relevant. But what about a chunk of cheese? What’s going to happen — it’s going to get moldy? It’s already moldy, folks — it’s cheese!!! And a dry-aged steak that sits around a few extra days in only going to taste better! Before we left on our 3-week summer vacation, I bought a $8.99 buffalo mozzarella for $2, put it in the fridge, and forgot about it. When we got back, I opened it. And it was perfectly fine — especially cut over some fresh tomatoes with a good extra virgin olive oil.

Buffalo mozzarella with “Woohoo” sticker

So one day, I’m hunting about the store for “Woohoo” deals, and I find a package of $9 Boar’s Head hot dogs for $3. In the bakery section, I find some $6 brioche baguettes for $2. I’ve got the makings of something good, although I’m not quite sure yet what it is.

Obviously, it is a hot dog of some sort. But what will make this hot dog special — special enough that I can claim it as my own?

While I have been known to ridicule fusion cuisine on this very blog, there are times when combining unexpected flavors from divergent cuisines can create something new and transcendent. And friends, that was what happened with my hot dog. It had a lot to do with what I had on hand — Korean kim chee, onions, heirloom tomatoes, jalapeños, white American cheese and Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise. Had I spent months in a lab, I could not have produced a better hot dog. My hot dog.

But I am a sharer. And so I share with you. Enjoy this hot dog, enjoy the hunt, and people: do not be afraid of “sell by” dates.

*    *    *

The Sean Dog
serves 4

4 brioche hot dog buns
4 high-quality all beef hot dogs
2 small heirloom tomatoes, quartered
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, finely chopped
4 oz. kim chee
4 slices white cheese
Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

Toast the brioche lightly in a toaster oven or oven, just warming it but being mindful to keep it soft.

Steam the hot dogs in a pot of lightly boiling water.

Compose the hot dogs: On each of the buns, place a hot dog. Follow with two tomato wedges, a slice of cheese halved down the middle, a few jalapeño slices (depending on taste), some chopped onion and a tablespoon or so of kim chee. Drizzle each with Kewpie mayonnaise and serve.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. timoirish34
    Jan 06, 2018 @ 07:02:06

    Beware, SC–someone will steal the secret of the Sean Dog, lease a food truck, hit Warner Center at lunchtime and CLEAN UP! You had me at kim-chee!


  2. Amanda
    Jan 07, 2018 @ 11:39:24

    In all my years I have never thought to “dress up” a hot dog. I’ve always strictly been a “mustard only” gal. I know, boring right? I’ve obviously been missing out on how fabulous a hot dog could be! Why have I never thought of this before? I love it!


  3. Michelle
    Jan 18, 2018 @ 06:50:22

    Ah, you husbands and your hatred of sell-by dates…


  4. Noel Kleinman
    Jan 29, 2018 @ 10:02:10

    I need to hang out with you more often!


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