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Celebrity Chefs’ Summer Eats: Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish Hot Dogs

Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson serves up a doggone good taste of home.

To many, hot dogs on the grill are one of the first signs of summer. To Marcus Samuelsson — renowned chef, restauranteur, author, and Chopped judge  — they’re a taste of the past. We caught up with Samuelsson to get the dish on one of his favorite summer recipes. 

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, Samuelsson first tasted traditional Swedish hot dogs with his grandmother Helga, with whom he spent many happy hours in the kitchen. Food didn’t take center stage for him until he was 16, when he was told that he was too small to be a professional soccer player. That’s when he started playing around with the idea of being a chef, inspired by the grandmother who taught him how to cook.

One of his first food jobs was at a hot dog stand, where the dogs were fried in a corn meal batter and topped with shrimp salad. Not your typical barbecue, the tang and saltiness from the shrimp and cucumbers elevated the humble hot dog to new heights.

Samuelsson’s career has brought him all over the globe, but this recipe brings together the two places he calls home, giving the New York hot dog a Swedish twist. While his summer tastes normally run to light, fresh foods like watermelon salad with mint and feta, or grilled fish, these hot dogs are a nostalgic journey back to his youth, as well as a summer treat he can share with his wife, sitting on their back patio with a light pilsner.

Samuelsson recommends experimenting with different garnishes, to create your own summer indulgence.

Marcus Samuelsson Photo

Corn Batter:

1 cup corn meal

1 cup AP flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

6 oz milk

4 hot dogs

Mix all ingredients together; evenly coat the hot dogs in batter and deep fry in a pot of hot oil (using a candy thermometer) at 350 degrees. Use an 8-quart pot and 3 quarts of oil, as the oil will rise once the battered hot dogs go in. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

Shrimp Salad:

4 cups cooked baby shrimp

2 eggs hard boiled, chopped

1 red onion, diced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup crème fraiche

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 Tbsp chopped dill

2 Tbsp fresh grated horseradish

Mix all ingredients together and season with salt.

Pickled Cucumbers:

1 cup distilled vinegar

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 cup salt

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp chili flakes

2 cucumbers, thinly sliced

Heat all ingredients, except for cucumbers, until sugar is dissolved. Place cucumbers in a quart-size Mason jar with a lid. Pour mixture over cucumbers and allow to brine for at least 3 days.

Top hot dogs with shrimp salad and serve with pickles on the side. 

From the Bio Archives: This article was originally published on July 3, 2014.