Three weeks ago, we wondered why none of Chicago’s extraordinarily inventive and envelope-pushing culinary talents had taken it upon themselves to deconstruct or reinterpret that most iconic of local dishes, the Chicago Dog. “Where’s the deconstructed plate where a ribeye hotdog is accompanied by house-cured pickle confetti, greenmarket tomato foam, and a poppyseed confit?” we asked.
We didn’t expect anything to come of it. But then — oh gracious us — Phillip Foss, chef at Lockwood in the Palmer House Hilton, did it and then some. In direct response to our challenge, eschewing the literal version that we’d suggested in our post, he created a smoky lobster sausage and assortment of garnishes that visually echoes the classic weiner. In his own words:
These are the components:
Diced lobster folded into a scallop mousse, seasoned with smoked paprika, cayenne and tarragon; rolled it in plastic wrap the size of a hot dog, then slow poached it at 140 degrees. It is then removed it from the plastic and grilled.
Not wanting to use mustard, instead I made a saffron-ginger beurre blanc to give it a similarly bright yellow color.
The rest is pretty basic - peeled pear tomatoes instead of the tomato wedges.
Brunoise of sweated leeks instead of onions
Green pepper curls
Potato bun - I f’d up and forgot the poppy seed!
I’m happy that ketchup as it turns out is considered sacreligious on a hot dog as I didn’t know how I would pair/mimic it with lobster!
Foss’s confection (which sounds springlike and delicious) isn’t yet on the menu, but we think it will be soon. The experience of the Chicago Dog won’t be entirely replicated, though — Foss says “you won’t automatically get bitched out if you order it at Lockwood like you do at the Weiner Circle (but I may make an exception if you ask… or if I don’t like the way you look)!”
While Foss is the winner in this challenge, our offer still stands: If you put a haute Chicago dog on your menu, we will write about it. Lovingly. Glowingly. Excitedly. Deliciously.