Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dim Sum Sunday - The Thrill of the Grill

When it comes to casual backyard grilling there seems to be two camps. The Burger Devotees and the Hot Dog Purists. Count me in the Hot Dog camp. I love a good grilled hot dog, a little charred on the outside but still juicy on the inside. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that over seven billion hot dogs will be eaten by Americans between Memorial Day and Labor Day so I'm not alone in my love of mystery tubes of meat. I wanted something other than the basic grocery store hot dog to start off my official grilling season. I wanted some good German sausages.
Luckily I live close to a place where my wurst hunger can be fed. Werner's sits on a little corner in Mission, Kansas. Inside you'll find a wide assortment of German and Scandinavian products not to mention some excellent butchers. I had many sausages to choose from but finally narrowed it down to 5. From left to right, above, we have the basic long hot dog, the Cheddar Bier Brat, the Polish, a Knockwurst and the intriguing German style Brat. Just the smell of them alone, waiting in the fridge for Sunday, was intoxicating.I thought about what else I wanted with my sausages. At first I considered German styled potato salad but when I saw Vidalia onions at the store I decided to make onion straws. I've never been a fan of the thick, heavily breaded onion rings you find in so many restaurants. I decided to fry up a batch of the thinly sliced, barely dusted onion rings my mom used to make for us as kids. The results? All were excellent, the Cheddar and Polish were packed with flavor and spice. But it was the German style Brat that made me wish I had bought more than one. A mild sausage lacking the kick of the others but also allowing the actual flavors of the pork and veal take center stage. It was incredibly different from the flavor injected, salt laden vacuum packed hot dogs that we consume so many of every summer. It was delicious. And why not, I had taken the suggestion of Susan of 29 Black Street and made up a batch of Fruit Chili Sauce to put on that mild sausage. Sadly Werner's is not open on Sunday's or else I would have stocked up on more of those lovely sausages before my grill had a chance to cool off.

13 comments:

frogponder said...

Burgers on the bbq at the Ponder residence today.

Big Shamu said...

Grilling baby, that's what it's about. MEAT!

Boxer said...

I just microwaved a tofu Italian Sausage and sat in the backyard with a vodka/rocks and the dogs and I toasted my friend Shamu.....

and I got nothing this week. :-)

but I figured you'd understand.

NYD said...

I'm all for burgers. A dirty water dawg is great when you're sittin outside the Met, but a thick hunk of meat done to hockey puck perfection is what does it for me.

At least we agree on onion rings.

pamokc said...

OMG, gotta vote for the brats myself, but a good old fashioned cheapie hotdog, almost burned on the grill (or campfire), eaten only on soft bun with MAYBE a slight bit of mustard ... DIVINE. and that is what I had for dinner tonight. Overlooked the burgers for the dogs tonight and have no regrets!

Big Shamu said...

(Me too, Pamokc)

Aunty Belle said...

I love the narrative, a wee bit of local color, the particularity of Wrner's selections.

Ain't fer Hot dawgs much, tho the Italian sausage makes mah mouth pucker ...but the ONIONS??

Gimme!!!

Big Shamu said...

Nothing say American Holiday like deep fried food. And salt.

LaDivaCucina said...

Dang, Sham, it looks SOOOOO good! We went to company's and I just made some simple burgers with Velveeta and there were a few saus-o's too.

I might add though to me the only good hot dog is A GRILLED DOG. I had a bite of a boiled dog at the festival last week and it was mushy and gross! You need that "pop" for texture.

Anonymous said...

Heb Dogs rule!

Big Shamu said...

I would have to agree, Hebrew National makes a mighty fine hot dog. All beef goodness.

Buzz Kill said...

I wanted to do brats in beer, butter and onions for the this Dim Sum Sunday but never got to it. I have a late and practically worthless Dim Sum Sunday post over at the Buzzkill.

Happy belated Memorial Day!

Big Shamu said...

That's ok, I think I'm giving Dim Sum Sundays a break.