Grilled Seattle Dogs/Mickey Finn’s Choka West Coast IPA/Year of the Cobra “In the Shadows Below”
Quite frankly (no pun intended) a couple of weeks ago we didn’t even know that a Seattle dog even existed, but when the family had a taste for hot dogs we hit the Google for some unique regional specialties. It appears our friends up in the pacific northwest know a thing or two about the tube steak, all we needed to see was jalapeños and sriracha and we were hooked. Our version starts with a sriracha cream cheese slathered on the bottom of a soft hot dog roll. A jumbo all beef frank that has been split and grilled goes on top followed by a few spoons of sautéed cabbage, onions and jalapeños. The dog gets finished with a drizzle of spicy brown mustard. A west coast dog needs a west coast-style beer so we went with Mickey Finn’s appropriately named Choka West Coast IPA. Staying in the same region for the tunes, Seattle’s very own doom duo, Year of the Cobra graced our stereo with their ear bleed-inducing release, “In the Shadows Below”.
Grilled Seattle Dogs – We always chuckle a bit when we break down a hot dog “recipe”. This one though is a tad more complex than most, but at the end of the day, it’s still a hot dog. We start with the sautéed veggies by tossing into an oiled pan: 1 thinly sliced small white onion, 1/4 of a head of cabbage thinly shredded and 1 small jalapeño cut into rings. Season with black pepper then sauté them down for about 15-20 minutes until soft, remove from heat and keep warm.
Next up is the sriracha cream cheese for which you’ll need…sriracha and cream cheese. A ratio of 1/2 cup softened cream cheese to 1 heaping tablespoon of sriracha should work. Whisk the two together and set aside.
Now for the hot dog. Quality is most important here and with us being in Chicago, thankfully, that is not a problem. Go with an all beef jumbo hot dog and cut a slit down the middle until it is just short of being cut through. Flare open the hot dog so it looks like a scalper outside the stadium holding two fingers up as if he’s got two tickets to sell.
The dogs go over a medium heat with the cut side down to brown up before charring the other side.
That’s pretty much all she wrote for the prep/cooking portion, now we start by spreading some of that sriracha cream cheese on the bottom of a soft hot dog bun.
The charred dog goes in next, right on top of the spicy cream cheese with the cut side up so we can spoon more of the cabbage, onion and jalapeño mixture inside of it. The final step is a stream of spicy brown mustard on top. Honestly it may have been one of the best hot dogs (Chicago dogs notwithstanding) with its familiar onion, cabbage and brown mustard combo of a Wisconsin brat mixed with the Sushi-like flavors coming from the cream cheese, sriracha and jalapeño.
Mickey Finn’s Choka West Coast IPA – We haven’t done a growler beer in a long time, but tonight, thanks to a family dinner out at Mickey Finn’s in Libertyville (with the obligatory growler to go), that all changes with this meal. We brought home the same beer we were drinking with our dinner we had the restaurant, the brewery’s take on a west coast IPA with their Choka West Coast IPA. The beer pours a beautiful mahogany color with a billowy white head. The aroma is syrupy sweet with not a ton of hops on the nose. Flavor-wise the hops are there in abundance to go along with a thick, sweet malt presence. The beer is also pretty boozy going along with the west coast theme. Pairing-wise it’s pretty hard to screw up a beer and a dog and thankfully that wasn’t the case tonight.
Year of the Cobra “In the Shadows Below” – Not sure why we decided to make this a theme night tonight, but we did and thankfully that led us to this killer album by Seattle’s Year of the Cobra. This power duo brings all of the heaviness of a four piece doom band. The album kicks off with the super sludgy groove of “Lion and the Unicorn”, taking the “Albatross” riff and dipping it in warm molasses to slow it down considerably. After the groove comes to almost a complete stop, the beautifully haunting vocals of bassist/vocalist Amy Tung Barrysmith soars high above the doomy instrumental back drop. “The Siege” picks up the pace considerably with the bass doing most of the heavy work and laying down a thick foundation for the vocals to do their sing Electric Citizen-style on this amazing tune. The slow building “Vision of Three” is a darker, more eerie number while “Spider and the Fly” takes a more upbeat late 70s new wave/punk angle on things, both with incredible results. “Persephone” is by far the heaviest track on the album as the band lets their thrash flag wave loudly and proudly. Before the vocals kick in, they settle back into a more traditional groove-oriented sludge tune. There’s an Electric Wizard vibe to “White Wizard” with its beyond drop tuned low end and airy, layered psych vocals. The album closes with the 7+ minute epic “Electric Warrior” and this sucker hits you right between the eyes with all of the subtlety of a 50 pound sledge hammer conjuring similarities to Witch Mountain’s “The Ballad of Lanky Rae” and marking the end of a classic doom metal album.