August 10, 2013
Hot Dogs on Homemade New England Style Buns
Crispy Homemade Potato Chips
Steamed Fresh Sweet Corn
Vella Merlot & Sam Adams Maple Pecan Porter
New England Style Hot Dog Buns from USA Pans
While Central New York, where I grew up, is not New England it is pretty close. Hot dogs were generally served on the traditional round bun cut on the side. A few times, however, my mom served them on a New England style bun which is square and cut on the top. The top cut keeps the toppings from falling out and the flat sides are ideal for toasting. Since these buns are not available outside the Northeast I hadn't thought of them for many years until seeing a recent on-line review of a baking pan for making these buns at home. I added the pan to my wish list and, lo and behold, I got one for my birthday.
For this first batch of buns in the new pan, I used the manufacturer's recipe, one that was tested and portioned for the pan. I used 15 ounces of flour (the recipe specifies 3 cups) and rather than adding cold butter I melted it and added it to the flour after the water and egg. I mixed the ingredients and kneaded the dough using a stand mixer. The resulting buns are good though less tender than super market hot dog buns. One disadvantage of the buns may be the two from the ends of the pan which have one crusty side. To fill the buns I grilled Nathan's Dinner Beef Franks garnished simply with Dijon mustard and ketchup.
For side dishes I bought some fresh-picked local sweet corn that was steamed in the microwave; it was really good. And, going along with the DIY theme, I got out my deep-fry supplies and made potato chips. A russet potato was scrubbed and cut into 1/16–inch slices on a mandolin, the thinnest setting available. These were put into a bowl of ice water until ready to fry at which time they were dried between two kitchen towels. They were fried in small batches in 350° oil until they stopped bubbling. They were transferred to paper towels and immediately salted. They were delicious, thin and crispy with significantly more potato flavor than store-bought chips. They also have the advantage of allowing you to choose how salty to make them. I'll definitely be doing this again and experimenting with some different thicknesses.