Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cincinnati Cheese Coney

     A Classic Cincinnati Cheese Coney!
     New York City is the birthplace of American hot dogs.  In the old days, many trendy street food vendors in states outside of New York marketed their own hot dogs by the name Coney Dog.  The name Coney Dog and Hot Dog are pretty much synonymous.  Things get a little more complicated in cities that have their own unique style of hot dog.  In Chicago where Vienna Hot Dogs rule, nobody calls a hot dog by the name Coney.  In Cincinnati, Coney Island style hot dogs that have a little bit of snap are a local standard, so the word Coney Dog is often used in place of Hot Dog in that city.

     Many American cities have their own signature style of Chili Dog too.  In New York City, Coney Island Chili Dogs are made with a beef heart chili that looks like a thin gravy.  Detroit Coneys are chili dogs made with a dry crumbled beef chili that has no sauce.  Yellow Mustard is also slathered on a Detroit Coney.  Out west, Chili Dogs are made with the house's signature chili and the chili can have beans in it.
     In Cincinnati a chili cheese dog is called a Cheese Coney.  A Cincinnati Cheese Coney is made with Cincinnati Chili, which actually is not a traditional chili at all.  Cincinnati Chili is basically a Greek spice flavored stewed ground beef slurry concoction, but it does have a unique flavor that tastes great on a hot dog.  Cincinnati Cheese Coneys are topped with a generous amount of Cincinnati Chili, chopped onions and a huge pile of thin grated cheddar cheese.  In many hot dog fans opinion, the Cincinnati Cheese Coney is the undisputed heavyweight campion of all chili dogs!    
     If you order a Cheese Coney in Cincinnati, you will be served a hot dog like the one in the photos above.  The hot dog is lightly grilled for a Cheese Coney and it is not boiled.  Coney Island style hot dogs are a good choice, but Chicago style Vienna Hot Dogs are okay for making a Cheese Coney too.
     Cincinnati Chili:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Cincinnati Chili
     Cincinnati Cheese Coney:
     This recipe describes how to make 1 Cheese Coney.
     Thin grated cheddar cheese is fluffy and a big pile weighs less than the size would suggest.  
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan or griddle over low heat.
     Season the pan with vegetable oil.
     Place a Coney Island or Vienna style hot dog on the pan.
     Slowly grill the hot dog evenly, till it starts to plump up and "snap."  (Do not cook the hot dog till it is darkly browned.)
     Step 2:  Warm a hot dog bun on the grill or in an oven.
     Step 3:  Place the hot dog bun on a serving plate.
     Place the grilled hot dog on the bun.
     Spoon a generous amount of the warm Cincinnati Chili over the hot dog.  (About 3/4 cup.)
     Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of chopped onions over the chili.
     Mound a generous amount of thin grated cheddar cheese on the hot dog and chili.  (About 1 1/4 cups or more.)
     Garnish with a parsley sprig and a dill pickle.

     If you make a batch of Cincinnati Chili, be sure to save some to make a few Cheese Coneys.  This is a delicious classic American hot dog specialty!  

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