Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Crown Roast of Frankfurters

My vegetarian version of the Crown Roast of Frankfurters

On one of our cherished "Trailer Trash Days," an all-day flea market and thrift shop extravaganza, BFF Sean and I scored a strange black and white vintage movie magazine from the 1950s. Near the back of its fragile pages was a short recipe section.

"Americans are known far and wide as great consumers of the frankfurter. And for good reason!," the article, "Tasty Tricks with Frankfurters" began.

Well, that got my attention.

One of the recipes was for a Crown Roast of Frankfurters. How could I resist a vintage recipe with frankfurters, especially one where you had to sew them together with a needle and thread?  My "Home Ec" teacher would be so proud.

And what a perfect occasion to have Sean over for dinner and set the table with some of my vintage housewares.
Being a vegetarian, I altered the original recipe a bit, substituting the frankfurters for Yves Jumbo Veggie Dogs.  Inspiration struck when I decided to fill the crown with Mac and Cheese instead of stuffing.  The result was a pleasant surprise:  the strong seasoning in the veggie dogs infused the Mac and Cheese with a wonderful smoky flavour.

After cocktails and before the main course, I served Iceberg lettuce wedges with a choice of home made blue cheese or Ranch dressing.  To serve with the Roast, I prepared mixed vegetables cleverly disguised to look like vintage sides that would have come from a can:  diced Carrots Vichy mixed with fresh garden peas and sautéed sweet corn with green beans.

Strange, I know, but loads of fun and truly delicious.  I must try the other recipes too!

The original recipe

Vegetarian Crown Roast of Frankfurters

The original, non-vegetarian recipe called for wrapping bacon around the frankfurters to give it some structural integrity. I skipped this but next time I make it I'll substitute leeks for bacon.  The instructions for the leeks are included below.

Serves 6
40 minutes 350 F/180 C

6" spring form pan
Darning needle and about 1.5m of kitchen string

20 jumbo veggie dogs or enough to fill the perimeter of a 6" spring form pan
2 long leeks, green part removed

For the mac and cheese
2 1/4 cups elbow macaroni
3 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons  unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper
2 teaspoons prepared dijon mustard
3 cups (6oz) shredded aged cheddar
1 cups (3oz) shredded aged Gouda
1 cups  (3oz) shredded medium Gouda

1 cup soft white bread crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
few pinches of salt

Prepare the Crown
1.  Cut a length of foil long enough to form a collar to fit around the inside of the spring form pan with a few inches to spare. Don't trim the top of the foil, it should come up above the rim of the pan.  Remove it from the pan and lightly coat one side with oil or butter. Set aside.

Sewing the frankfurters together
2. Lay the hot dogs side by side and sew them together at about 1- 1 1/2" from the top and bottom.  Be sure to leave about 3" of string at the end of each section. Form them into a cylinder inside the spring form pan.  They should fit snugly so if you need another hot dog to achieve that, add it to the chain. Tie the ends of the strings together to secure it.  Trim the ends of the string.

3. Slice the white and light green part of the leeks in half lengthwise and poach in salted water for 1-2 minutes, drain, cool, and separate the stalks so you have many individual ribbons.   Create lengths of string by tying the ends of the leeks together so they're long enough to wrap around the Crown.  Tie the leeks around the frankfurters at the top, bottom and middle.  Make pretty bow if you like.  Secure them in place with a few toothpicks here and there.

Wrap the outside and top of the crown with the foil and place it in the spring form pan.  Make sure you cover the tips of the hot dogs with foil - this will prevent them from drying out in the oven.  
Prepare the Mac and Cheese
1.  Cook the macaroni in salted water until barely tender, drain in a colander and rinse with cold running water. Drain and set aside.

2.  Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and stir until it bubbles but not brown.  Slowly stir in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, cheese and mustard. Taste and adjust seasoning.

1.  Fill the crown with the mac and cheese.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350F (180C)

Lift the spring form pan from the side of the crown roast and slide it onto a serving plate.  Remove the foil.  Remove the toothpicks you used to secure the leeks.  

You can spoon your vegetable sides around the base of the Crown Roast to make a pretty presentation.

Vegetable masquerade:  fresh garden peas with Vichy Carrots, fresh sautéed sweet corn with green beans
Iceberg wedges with Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing


donna baker said...

That is hysterical and I love all the vintage stuff.

Anonymous said...

I was there! It was delicious and delightful. A lovely way to remember a wonderful evening. You can even see my left hand holding the plate in eager anticipation. You are an amazing hostess!

Gustia said...

It was hysterical all right. And it made some fabulous leftovers too.

Gustia said...

Who knows what sort of crazy things we come up with next year!

Caker Cooking said...

I've seen some Picassos and Rembrandts in my day, but this, this is truly a work of art. I'm dying for that table setting, too.

Gustia said...


CJ - Food Stories said...

Love this retro recipe - Thx so much for sharing at Food Foto Gallery :-)

Gustia said...

My pleasure! Glad to be aboard.

Hannah said...

Oh my god! There just... Aren't words. It's just so horrible (in concept) that it's truly wonderful (in execution.) That hot dog crown roast is absolutely a crime against humanity, and I would be so thrilled if anyone actually served one at a party I attended. I love it!

Gustia said...

Well, someone had to do it! Believe it or not it was really delicious too. Who'd have guessed?

Heather Robinson said...

The delicious part is what I find craziest of all! There is something quite freaky about the photo of the hot dogs being sewn together, non? :G
And I think that I might be willing to walk to your house in order to have home made blue cheese dressing.

Gustia said...

Very freaky! I'll make you blue cheese dressing any time.