Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Iron Chef Hot Dog with Onion and Pepper Relish and Crispy Red Onions

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings



Crispy Onions:

Hot Dogs:


Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. For the relish: Bring the red wine vinegar plus 1/4 cup water to a gentle simmer in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, mustard seeds and coriander seeds. Simmer until the liquid reduces to a syrup consistency and the seeds become tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in the same pan over medium heat until it smokes lightly. Add the onions and red pepper and cook over high heat until slightly tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from the heat and add to the reduced vinegar mixture along with the hot sauce and pickles. Stir to blend, then transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours.
  3. For the crispy onions: Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a medium pot.
  4. Stir together the flour and paprika in a medium bowl, then add the onion slices and toss to coat. Test the oil by dropping in one onion slice. It should fall to the bottom, begin to bubble, rise to the top and fry gradually. Prepare a baking sheet fitted with a kitchen towel, and get a slotted spoon ready. Shake the excess flour off half of the onions and drop them in the oil. Gently swirl them with the spoon so they fry more evenly on all sides, until they are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove them with the spoon and lay them out on the kitchen towel to cool. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining onions.
  5. For the hot dogs: Boil or pan-fry? Your choice. (See Cook's Note.) If you want to boil the dogs, place the dogs in a pan with enough simmering water to cover them and gently cook over medium-low heat until fully hot, 8 to 10 minutes. To pan-fry, add them to a little hot oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat until they are golden brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Toast the buns in the toaster or a hot (350 degree F) oven until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Spread a layer of mustard down the length of the dogs and place them in the buns. Top with hearty helpings of the relish and even layers of the onions all the way down the bun.

Cook’s Note

Boil or pan-fry? Ava likes them pan-fried and Chef Mike likes them boiled. It's your choice! Every day after elementary school, my dad would pick me up, walk me to the corner and buy a hot dog from the stand on the street. I always had mine with either mustard and sauerkraut or a hearty dollop of relish. The memory of standing on 88th and Central Park West with cars, buses and people bustling by is vivid. All sounds stopped as I ate that hot dog. Bun slightly sweet, the snap of the hot dog casing as I bit into it, the slight heat from the mustard and the tang of the sauerkraut or the zing of the relish. Eating it only made me hungrier. I want to replicate that highly appetizing dog here in my grown-up Iron Chef version.