Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Italian Hot Dogs

In last week's menu plan, I listed Italian hot dogs for Monday. I linked to this recipe without realizing that it contains a typo: the fourth ingredient should be frying peppers, not frying potatoes.

I've only learned, in the past few years, that the Italian hot dog is a uniquely New Jersey dish. The real/best way to make one is hotly contested. Wikipedia says that "many New Jerseyans" view the Italian hot dog as our answer to the Philly cheesesteak. I don't know about that--I'm not an authority--but they're definitely fun and tasty.

If you're interested in the history, here's an account from the northern New Jersey restaurant where these culinary treats originated. Or, if you prefer, here's an account from "The Home of the Originial [sic] Italian Hot Dog," in central New Jersey.

In the northern part of the state, these are served on half-round loaves of bread made from pizza dough. They're usually served with both ketchup and mustard. (Click on "View" to see a photo.)

In central New Jersey, they're served on steak rolls and with mustard, no ketchup. (Here's a photo.) Even the way of cutting the potatoes and the "right" brand of hot dogs are different.

The way I make them at home is closer to the central Jersey way, simply because steak rolls are easier to find. Of course, we each add our own ketchup and/or mustard. When I made them yesterday, this is what I used:

8 hot dogs (cooked in grill pan)
4 medium potatoes, cut into thick "french fry" shape
2 peppers, cut into strips
1/2 onion, cut into thin slices
canola oil and olive oil, for frying
black pepper to taste
6 long rolls (steak rolls, sub rolls), split and lightly toasted
mustard (and ketchup, if you must)

Fry the potatoes and peppers until nearly tender, then add the onion. Cook until everything is done. Put a hot dog (or two) in a roll, then top with vegetable mixture.

It's not health food, by any stretch of the imagination, but it's delicious!


  1. I have never heard of Italian hot dogs! Boy, they sure do look good!!! :)

  2. I live in Northern NJ and I make this, but I cook cut up hot dogs together with the pepper, potatoes and onions. I cut the potatoes into small chunks.

    I never knew this recipe had a name, I just call it Italian hot dogs!

  3. Hmmm... I don't think it's something that would sit well in my tummy. But it looks interesting!

  4. I have not heard of Italian hot dogs before- yum! My boys are going to love this!! They look so good:)

  5. How cool! I love hearing about regional food.

  6. Oh man I forgot about these... Old age has set in for sure! Hubby will love this. Your photo is great. I'm gonna pull it up for him tonight! Thank you for the reminder.

  7. As many regional recipes, there are controversies lololol. That is the same case with tourtieres. People argue on the kind of meat to use to make them.

  8. God Bless America


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