Questionable Hot Dog Tribune recipes over the years

Although the Chicago-style hot dog is arguably the largest hot dog in the country, for most of the 20th century, Tribune reporters and recipe writers mostly behaved deeply embarrassed about the dish.

“Americans in general and housewives in particular are derelict in their duty to the hot dog,” begins a July 6, 1961 article by Thomas Wolfsmith. Then he quotes a German chef, Otto Schuetz, who explains that Americans “bury” hot dogs in sandwiches “without elegance”, unlike Europeans who serve them as delicacies.

Schuetz recommended serving a dish that combined asparagus, apples, mushrooms, sliced ​​hot dogs, and French dressing. Wolfsmith concluded: “So the hot dog earns a place in ‘haute cuisine’, instead of just languishing under mustard, dressing, chopped onion and a sandwich.”

In the mid-20th century, French food was regularly considered more sought after and far better than what most Chicago restaurants served. This explains an article dated March 30, 1960, entitled “A Great Hot Dog? This One, Prepared French Style, Is ”by Mary Meade. You wrote that chef John Bandera of the Sheraton-Blackstone hotel created a frankfurter bourguignonne “in honor of a centennial Chicago company whose founder, David Berg, helped bring the hot dog to America.” The recipe, which evokes the name of a French beef stew braised in red wine, involved eight frankfurters dipped in a sauce made with butter, shallots, garlic, brown sauce and 3 cups of red wine.

Tribune writer Mary Meade has also created her own hot dog recipes over the years, though she almost always read as if she was grinding her teeth as she did so. A June 25, 1943 article by Meade begins: “The ‘red hot’ covered in mustard and piccalilli are good for picnics and ball games, but have you thought about the possibilities of frankfurters in your daily meals?” She then goes on to give a recipe for frankfurters with fried rice and tomatoes.

More than 20 years later, Meade didn’t think much about the hot dog. In an article of June 9, 1966, she begins with this criticism: “A red snapper is a delicate and delicious fish. It tells you “gourmet” when you think about making it. That’s not what a sausage says! Then you can find a recipe called Barbecued Southern Pups, in which she recommended covering the sausages with a chili sauce, wrapping them in cornmeal paste, and then baking them.

Not to blame Meade, but she spent an inordinate amount of time finding ways not to use hot dog sandwiches. On June 3, 1958, Meade suggested making “frankfurters in tomato rolls”. “The Franks are wrapped in yeast dough: there are toppings of onion juice, cheese, parsley and tomato juice. Doesn’t that sound delicious? “On May 30, 1960, he gave a recipe for Ring-a-Rosy hot dogs made by” shaping hot dogs like burgers, “so they could fit round buns. To be honest, the recipe for 2 April 1971 for the frankfurter and sauerkraut pan sounds like something I’d like.

(While he certainly had his fair share of questionable hot dog recipes, there is an explanation for his ambitious take on hot dogs. It turns out Mary Meade wasn’t a real name. Instead, the alias was used by a series of female writers, a common newspaper practice at the time.)

But it’s still hard to imagine enjoying Meade’s Supper Salad Bowl of June 25, 1943, which combined hot dogs with French dressing, green pepper, cottage cheese, grated raw turnip, raw carrot, mayonnaise, lettuce, and coleslaw.

Also, I’m not sure you could pay me to try a “frying pan dinner with frankfurters” (from May 15, 1964), which combines half a pound of hot dogs with green onions, chopped green pepper, lima beans, tomato sauce, and a whole cup. of sour cream. I’d probably also pass on the “Franks in Sour Cream Sauce”, which can be found in a July 19, 1957 post by Doris Schacht.

Male recipe writers haven’t fared much better. In a recipe column genuinely called “For Men Only!”, Not to be confused with another titled “Wife’s night out”, Morrison Wood asked to make Creole frankfurters. The designation is charitable all of a sudden; I suppose he got that name because of the pinch of cayenne and tabasco pepper.

Readers have also gotten into the questionable hot dog action. On July 2, 1958, a reader posted a recipe for Hot Dog Surprises, which combined 1 pound of “frankfurters, finely chopped” with grated spicy cheese, grated hard-boiled eggs, chili sauce, pickle dressing, mustard and garlic salt. . This mixture was rolled out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and topped with sandwiches cut in half.

Thankfully, in the 1980s, writers and readers alike seemed to finally realize that Chicago’s best plate of hot dogs was staring them straight in the face the whole time.

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Try the recipes yourself:

by Mary Meade, March 30, 1960


8 frankfurters

2 tbsp Butter

3 tsp chopped shallot, onion or chives

½ tsp minced garlic

3 cups bordeaux or bordeaux wine

24 cooked onions

½ pound whole champignon mushrooms (fresh)

2 cups brown sauce

24 potato balls, browned in fat


1. Cut the frankfurters in thirds and brown them in butter for about 5 minutes. Remove the meat and add shallots and garlic to the fat. Simmer 2 or 3 minutes.

2. Add wine and simmer to reduce the liquid to 1 cup, this will take about 8 minutes. Add the onions, mushrooms and gravy.

3. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

4. Add cook potatoes and sausages and serve over soft wild rice.

For 4 servings.

by Mary Meade, June 25, 1943


½ pound frankfurters

½ cup French seasoning

¼ cup chopped green pepper

1 cup cottage cheese

1 cup grated raw turnip

1 cup grated raw carrot

Mayonnaise and lettuce



1. Simmer sausage in water for 5 minutes and cool.

2. Slice frankfurter and cover with French dressing. Leave to rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.

3. Combine green pepper and ricotta.

4. Combine grated turnip and carrot; wet with mayonnaise.

5. Organize lettuce in salad bowl. In separate lettuce cups, arrange the frankfurters, ricotta, grated carrot and turnip and the coleslaw. Serve with mayonnaise.

For 4-6 servings.

by Mary Meade, June 9, 1966


10 sausages

¼ cup Butter

¼ tsp mustard powder

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tsp Brown sugar

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup chili sauce

Corn pasta:

¾ cup Flour

¼ cup corn flour

½ tsp salt

¼ cup lard


1. Create corn paste first. Sift together the flour, cornmeal and salt. Cut the lard and add just enough water to moisten, about 3-4 tablespoons.

2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. Cut into five 5-inch squares.

3. Dissolve butter for the sauce and add the dry mustard, onion, lemon juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and chilli sauce. Simmer 15 minutes.

4. Cut sausages lengthwise, almost to the ends, but not completely. Arrange two frankfurters diagonally on each square of cornmeal. Place a tablespoon of barbecue sauce in each. Fold the corners of the dough over the frankfurters, moisten the corners and press together.

5. Cook on an ungreased baking sheet for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

For 5 servings.

Other articles cited:

“German Chef and Hot Dog Go Together” by Thomas Wolfsmith, July 6, 1961.

“New Ways to Repair Francs: You Will Consume Many” by Mary Meade, June 3, 1958.

“Ring-a-Rosy Hot Dogs” by Mary Meade, May 30, 1960.

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“Menu for a Week at Mary Meade’s Kitchen” by Mary Meade, April 2, 1971.

“Processed meats are easy on a budget: many tasty ways to use them too” by Mary Meade, May 15, 1964.

“Thrifty sausages can be disguised for company” by Doris Schacht, July 19, 1957.

“For men only! Creole frankfurters at least in one way to make guests sit and shout, ‘Hot Dog!’ By Morrison Wood, October 4, 1947.

“$ 5 Favorite for Your Picnic” by Bob McBridge, July 2, 1958.

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