Saturday, May 23, 2015

Maxwell Street Polish

Another Chicago tradition and definitely comfort food if you've ever had one is the Maxwell Street Polish. The Maxwell Street neighborhood is considered Chicago's near West side. It is noteable as the location pf the Maxwell Street market and the birthplace of Chicago Blues and the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage (MSP).

If living in or around Chicago and needed a set of tires, a car radio, or a pair of speakers, you could usually find them at the Maxwell Street Market. It was here that I enjoyed my first Maxwell Street Polish. So what is a Maxwell Street Polish? I thought you'd never ask. If you can't make it to the market, you can find the MSP almost anywhere in the greater Chicago land area. In some parts of the city, the Maxwell Street Polish is as popular, or more popular than the Chicago-style hot dog.
Not a traditional MSP
To make your own Maxwell Street Polish at home you're going to go shopping. The first thing you will need is some all beef Polish sausages. In Chicago you can easily find Vienna's beef Polish sausages.
Once you get the sausage you must decide how you will cook it. I've has them deep-fried, grilled, steamed and then grilled.
Need a lot of grilled onions
Grill a lot of onions in a little oil and butter.   While the onions are cooking, prepare a good quality plain, poppyseed bun, or a hoagie roll. For the condiments,  a MSP has grilled onions, mustard and sport peppers.

Grill If you don't like the taste of a Polish Sausage you can always have a Chicago style hot dog. Fries always come with a Maxwell Street Polish, or a Chicago-style hot dog.  
As I was writing this post I thought about another one that I wrote about the spiral cut hot dogs. I thought that this would be a great way to cook a Polish. To see this post follow this link:
I often think that my brother living in the South and I share a common craving for good food. As I was writing this post he sent me a text with the following picture attached:
Living in the Memphis area, or as I call it the epicenter of barbecue country, he still has his "Chicago-style" cravings from time to time. This "Chicago Style Hot Dog Kit" was on his porch when he arrived home from work. The Vienna kit contained:
1 - 16 pack (6" 8 per lb.) Vienna® Beef Skinless Hot Dogs
2 - 8 packs Mary Ann Poppy Seed Buns
1 - 12 oz. jar Vienna® Sport Peppers
1 - 12 oz. jar Vienna® Bright Green Relish 
1 - 9 oz. jar Vienna® Yellow Mustard
1 - 6 oz. shaker Vienna® Celery Salt
NOTE: What was missing? To make your very own Chicago-Style Hot dogs you're going to need to buy some dill pickle spears, minced onions, and thinly sliced tomatoes.
My brother informed me that the cost to cure his Chicago-style craving was about $3.50 per hot dog. Cheaper than most Chicago hot dog stands. So apparently you can satisfy your Chicago-style craving whenever you get the urge.
No visit to Chicago would be complete without mentioning the other Chicago hot dog called the "Francheezie." Check out the Francheezie hot dog post;