Calling all hot dog aficionados. Yes, we acknowledge that the name of this dish is confusing. Why are Rhode Island hot dogs called “New York System Hot Wieners”? As best we can determine, New York
System is a nod to New York’s Coney Island and might have been used as a marketing strategy at the turn of the century. These dogs, usually a mixture of veal and pork with a super snappy casing, are doused with yellow mustard, then a chili beef mixture, raw chopped onions, and finally a dusting of celery salt. Of course, every Rhode Island hot dog joint and every Rhode Island family has their favorite recipe so a quick Google search will yield many variations. We tinkered with the spices a bit and came up with this recipe which we think you will love, not too sweet but definitely sassy. It’ll elevate your dogs from humdrum to wicked good. These would be a welcome addition to any Memorial Day celebration no matter what part of the country you happen to be.
The Cliff Walk in Newport was designated a National Recreation Trail way back in 1975. This three and a half mile walk hugs the eastern shore of Newport with stunning ocean vistas on one side and the backyards of Gilded Age mansions on the other.
New York System Hot Wieners
- 1 cup onions, diced
- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup water
- 16 hot dogs, cooked
- 16 hot dog buns
- Yellow mustard
- Chopped onion (for garnish)
- Celery salt (for garnish)
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. Once melted, add onion, cook until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, approximately 15 minutes. Break up large chunks of meat with potato masher. Add Worcestershire sauce, spices and ¼ cup water. Stir until spices are completely incorporated.
To prepare wieners, microwave buns for 15 seconds. Add hot dog, mustard, approximately two tablespoons of beef mixture and chopped onion. Top with celery salt.
A coffee cabinet is a delicious concoction, only it’s too bad no one outside of Providence or Warwick knows what the heck it is. Let us elucidate. In other parts of the country, a cabinet is simply a
milkshake or a frappe. This ice cream drink is called a cabinet, supposedly because it is made in a blender which is stored in the cabinet. Who knew?
A key ingredient of a coffee cabinet is coffee syrup and in the Ocean State that syrup is usually made by Autocrat, a company based in Lincoln. Autocrat is sometimes hard to find outside of New England but don’t despair, you can easily make coffee syrup at home in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Family Guy. Simply boil coffee with sugar and then simmer until the liquid reduces.
The cabinet recipe can easily be adapted if you’re vegan by subbing out the regular ice cream and milk for soy or almond milk products. And if you want to hold the ice cream and just mix the coffee syrup with milk, you’ll have what’s called a coffee milk, which is the official beverage of Rhode Island.
If you want to see how the other half lived during the mid to late 19th century, check out the Newport Mansions, many situated on beautiful Bellevue Avenue in Newport. Tour Marble House, The Breakers, The Elms, Chateau-sur-Mer, and get your Vanderbilt on.
Rhode Island Coffee Cabinet
For the coffee syrup:
- 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cabinet:
- 2 tablespoons coffee syrup
- 1 large scoop coffee ice cream
- 3/4 cup milk
For the coffee syrup: Combine coffee in sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until boiling. Turn down to low and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and let cool.
For the cabinet: Place coffee syrup, ice cream and milk in a blender. Puree until frothy. If too thick, add a bit of milk, or if too thin, add a bit of ice cream. Pour into a tall glass for serving.
The smallest state in the country, Rhode Island, is home to some exceptional eats, including coffee milk, New York System Wieners and pizza strips. But because Rhode Island is also known as the Ocean State, we decided to bring you a dish featuring the popular quahog, a unique seafood recipe for one of our favorite dishes, clam cakes.
Quahog (pronounced KO-hog) is a Narragansett Indian-derived term for the hard-shell clam found in these regions. You can use canned clams in your cakes, but we used fresh and steamed them ourselves to capture that bright ocean flavor. The maple syrup, buttermilk and beer are an unusual combination, but they all work together to create a winning dish. We recommend a shallow fryer so that the cakes turn out flat rather than golf ball-like. Eat these as an appetizer or dipped in New England Clam Chowder.
Head to Newport, Rhode Island, October 18-19, 2014, for Bowen’s Wharf Annual Seafood Festival.
Rhode Island Clam Cakes
Recipe adapted from Hank Shaw, http://honest-food.net, used with permission.
- 3 to 4 pounds littleneck clams (yields approx. 1 cup of clam meat = approx. 30 clams)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup reserved clam cooking liquid
- 1/2 cup cold beer
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Tartar sauce or Tabasco sauce (for dipping)
To steam clams: Pick through clams and discard any with cracked or damaged shells. Soak for 20 minutes in fresh water. Lift them out of the water bath (do not strain) and brush vigorously to get rid of any excess sand. Heat 3 to 4 cups of water in a large pot with onion, celery and carrot trimmings until slowly boiling. Turn down heat to medium. Add clams and cover. Steam about 4 to 6 minutes or until the shells start to open. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard any clams that do not open. Once shells are cool enough to handle, open shells, extract meat and chop finely. Reserve the cooking liquid.
To make clam cakes: Heat oil to 350 degrees, preferably in a shallow fryer. Mix all dry ingredients. Mix the clams and all liquid ingredients except the beer. After oil is hot, add beer, then gently fold liquid ingredients into the dry until just combined.
Drop tablespoons of batter into hot oil (and be careful not to crowd the pot). Fry batches until golden, turning once, for approximately 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar or Tabasco sauce, or dip in New England Clam Chowder.