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Mexican Radio Dog

mexican radio hot dog carrot pickles chamoy sauce cotija jalapenos sour cream valentina wall of voodoo
“I understand just a little. No comprende — it’s a riddle”

Theme song by Wall Of Voodoo “Mexican Radio” from Call Of The West
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Sure – the obvious lyric to quote is “I wish I was in Tiajuana / Eating barbequed iguana”, but that’s just TOO easy. Though I honestly would love to try an iguana hot dog. I’m guessing it would taste a bit like alligator or rattlesnake.

Wall Of Voodoo is one of those bands from my college years I rarely listen to, but when I do I am reminded of how underrated they are. Not a ton of hits – really only this one and perhaps their epic “Ring Of Fire” cover (which will likely get the Music & Food recipe treatment). Not particularly influential but somehow still helped to shape the alternative MTV video-driven landscape. Sometimes instrumentally difficult listening but Stan Ridgway’s vocals always deliver a dark and quirky edge to what seems like pop music but really kinda isn’t. In many ways, Wall of Voodoo’s legacy is not one of music, but the number of restaurants and bars – and now dishes – named after their one big hit.

This dog is a riff on a Mexican street vendor snack called Dorilocos or Tostilocos. A bag of Doritos or Tostitos is cut open and a variety of topping added to the chips. Kind of like the Texas Frito Pie or Walking Taco concept with a somewhat bizarre variety of toppings including gummy bears, pickled pork rinds, Japanese style peanuts, and Chamoy (a sweet-sour-spicy pickled fruit sauce).

I had no intention of putting gummy bears or pickled pork rinds on a hot dog, so I went for the basic Doriloco elements: vegetables, something pickled, something sweet, and something salty. I stuck with the traditional Chamoy, Valentina hot sauce, a healthy dose of Tajin seasoning, and used lime sour cream to sub for a squeeze of lime.

I combined the vegetable and pickle elements into one of my new obsessions: Mexican carrot pickles. Mildly spicy and sour, the carrots retain their crispness and sweetness. The result is an incredible addition to sandwiches, nachos, chili, and – well – pretty much anything. I grabbed a Grill Club staple – Rock Candy Jalapenos – for sweetness. They also add a nice touch of heat. For salty, I went with cotija cheese. The Latin equivalent to feta, it has a lovely crumbly texture and a beautiful saltiness.

With the toppings in place, I turned my attention to the one item I had never encountered previously: Chamoy. A bit of research revealed this is a Mexican sauce made from pickled fruit and chiles with a sweet-sour-salty profile. It’s used as a condiment for a wide variety of foods ranging from fresh fruit and juices to potato chips and assorted nuts. It’s apparently also used in a variety of frozen treats. I most often found it as a topping for fruit combined with a sprinkle of Tajin. Fortunately, I live in a Latin neighborhood where I found Chamoy in my grocery. Unfortunately, the commercial Chamoy is nothing but a list of artificial ingredients and flavors. There had to be something better.

So I hit The Interwebs to find some Chamoy recipes. Most used some form of apricot or plum preserves. Most seemed too basic. A couple were a bit over the top in complexity. After a few R&D sessions, I finally came up with the recipe below. I really did not know what to expect. The idea of combining chiles, apricots, cranberries, and Sorrel (a tart drink made from hibiscus) seems like it shouldn’t work, but it does – and quite well! This is my new sauce obsession. It’s a definite sweet-sour punch with light heat and very little saltiness. Do not skip the Tajin in the recipe. Much like The Dude’s rug, the salty lime flavor of Tajin that really pulls the sauce together.

Did I succeed in my mission to make a Dorilocos style hot dog? Possibly. This certainly hits all the right notes. The sweet and sour work remarkably well together balancing out any heat from the chiles. Despite appearances, this is not a messy dog. No – I wouldn’t go walking around Doriloco style with this, but I also didn’t need more than one napkin. Actually, this finished recipe has me thinking about going full Doriloco dog with peanuts & gummy bears. I mean – how bad could that really be?

All beef hot dog, carrot pickles, Rock Candy Jalapenos, lime sour cream, Chamoy, Valentina hot sauce, Cotija cheese, and Tajin seasoning
Makes 2 hot dogs

2 all-beef hot dogs
2 hot dog buns
Carrot Pickles (see below)
Chamoy (see below)
Lime Sour Cream (see below)
Rock Candy Jalapenos
Cotija cheese
Valentina hot sauce

Toast the buns and set aside. Heat a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet if you don’t have cast iron) over high heat. Carefully split the hot dogs lengthwise, gently spread open and place cut side down in hot skillet. If you have a grill weigh, use it to press the dog into the pan. Otherwise, use a spatula to flatten the dog. Cook for a minute or so until it gets crispy and slightly charred. Flip dogs and cook for another minute until lightly charred.

Line each bun with carrot pickles – about 2 slices and some onions on each side. Nestle the dog – split side up – into the carrot pickles in the bun. Top with jalapenos and scallions. Drizzle on lime sour cream, Chamoy and Valentina sauce to finish.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

1 extra large carrot, peeled and cut on diagonal 1/4” thick
1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
1 jalapeno, cut on diagonal 1/4” thick
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & sliced thin
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cup water
10 black peppercorns
2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place garlic, vinegar, water, peppercorns, oregano and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots, onion, and jalapeno. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Let it cool completely in the pan on the stove. Once cool, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.

Yields about 4 cups

3/4 cup dried apricots
2 large chile ancho or mulato, stems removed
3 guajillo chiles, stems removed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup cooking water, from cooking fruit with chiles
1 cup Sorrel
1/3 cup or more of chile limon powder (Tajin)
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

In a saucepan, add the apricots, ancho or mulato chiles, guajillo chiles, and cranberries. Cover with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until dried chiles are very soft.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ingredients to the blender. Add 1 cup of the cooking water to the blender. Dump the remaining water from the saucepan and rinse. Set saucepan aside. Blend on high for 35-45 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend again. Using a wire mesh strainer, strain into the empty saucepan, pushing with a spatula to get all of the pulp.

Add Sorrel, chile limon powder, and sugar to the saucepan. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook for another 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

3 tablespoons sour cream
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Posted in bushwick, comfort food, cooking, drink, drinkarama, food, foodmusic, grillclub, grilling, hot dog, music, musicfood, pickles, recipe, sandwich, tex mex


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