Monday, March 16, 2009

Pølse - Norsk Style

In Los Angeles, my memory of hot dogs came from the fancy hot dog carts at trendy LA nightclubs. Back in the day, when the Century Club was still popular, I would look forward to the obligatory night-end hot dog. These were polish sausages wrapped in bacon, grilled on an open griddle and served in a toasted bun. Added to this shrine to pork products were a variety of sauces, most of them Asian. There would be Thai sambals, Rooster Sauce (Sriracha), salsas, mayonnaise and of course the traditional ketchup, mustard, relish and diced onions. On occasion, I was more excited about those hot dogs than I was about the actual club.

New Yorkers love their dirty water hot dogs. These dogs are boiled in water and served off carts all around the city. The buns are cold, but usually fresh (out of the bag) and the hot dog is topped with mustard, ketchup, relish and maybe onions. I am not a fan of the New York hot dog. The dogs were small, the buns were cold and the toppings were not terribly exciting. New Yorkers are fiercely loyal to their dirty water dogs. They can keep them.
Moving back west, Chicago makes a mean dog. They are known for their Chicago Dog - an all beef hot dog that is topped with diced onion, sweet relish, a pickle spear, slices of tomato, pickled peppers, a dash of celery salt and mustard. Don't embarrass yourself by asking for ketchup. Just don't. This dog is the shit and perfect as it is served. This dog is why I say New Yorkers can keep their dirty water dog. This dog will fill you up and keep you full.

And now to Norway. The first time I saw a hot dog in Norway was at the omnipresent 7-11. The dog was wrapped in bacon, making me miss LA even more. What was odd was that instead of a bun, you had the option to have the dog wrapped in lefse, a tortilla like wrap made out of potato flour. I admit, I still haven't tried it. The other option for hot dogs, or pølse - the general term for sausage, is to eat it with mashed potatoes. I made them for dinner tonight and for some wholesomeness, I roasted a bit of cabbage. I browned the packaged pølse in a frying pan and used instant mashed potatoes. I was super insistent on using the instant stuff. I even went to 3 different stores in search of it. Why instant? It cooks up faster and the consistency is super smooth - just like what they serve in our office kantine! That's probably where I got the idea. Here's our dinner!

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