My Citizens! We are now fully into our holiday groove here in TFD’s secret lair, high above the ice fields of Antarctica on the volcanic slope of Mt. Erebus! Not only are we ecumenical across all Christian denominations in our decorations, we also fully represent the Jewish side of the faith for Hanukkah!
Having just posted a recipe for Amish Christmas sugar cookies, we must now equalize the scales of equanimity with a recipe for my fellow members of the Tribe. You’d expect a latke recipe, but that is far too obvious a path for TFD to follow. My very surprising choice instead? A NJ hot dog recipe, straight from the world-famous Rutt’s Hut itself!
So what makes a NJ hot dog recipe apropos for the Festival of Lights holiday? First off, I feel it is important to recognize the recent tragedy surrounding the antisemitic murder of two Jews and two brave Christians (one of whom died trying to protect the Jews, the other was a police officer) in Jersey City. If you aren’t familiar with this tragedy, please read about it here.
Now, let us move on to a positive reason for this recipe’s emergence on the blog:
Traditionally for Hanukkah, Jews celebrate the miracle of the oil in the menorah lasting 8 days instead of 1, and so we eat fried foods on the holiday. Well, instead of giving you yet ANOTHER latke recipe, this hot dog fits the bill because it is indeed deep-fried!
Rutt’s Hut is a restaurant in Clifton, New Jersey known for its deep-fried hot dogs. In addition to the Ripper, customers can also order the dogs ‘In-And-Out’ style which is only in the hot oil briefly, and the ‘Cremator’ which is charred black.
The original roadside stand was opened in 1928 by Royal “Abe” Rutt and his wife, Anna. The family sold the restaurant to the current owners, George Petropoulakis, Louis Chrisafinis, Nicholas Karagiorgis, and George Sakellaris in late 1974.
Today the building is split into three separate sections: a restaurant, a bar, and a take-out counter.
The restaurant has been named the #1 Hot Dog in the Nation by The Daily Meal multiple times. The relish is just as famous as the hot dogs — made with a secret blend of mustard and spices (TFD NOTE: we are going to blow the lid off this secret recipe!).
Rutt’s Hut has been featured on the PBS special A Hot Dog Program, USA Today, numerous Food Network shows and the Travel Channel’s Deep-Fried Paradise. It is also listed in the book 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die.
The secret to a good ripper is – of course – ripping-hot oil to deep-fry the dogs so the skin ‘rips’ and they become crunchy and delicious. I prefer mine ‘In-and-out’ style, personally. The real secret is that delicious mustard slaw that evolves a Rutt’s Hut ripper into its ultimate form.
…and I have the secret recipe, my Citizens!
I literally stumbled across it while researching this recipe – as noted in a post on flickr by kwalker138:
This recipe was given to me by a friend of mine who got a box of old recipes at a garage sale last summer. The dates of these recipes are from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. What makes this clipping interesting is the name on the recipe and the Clifton address.
Clifton is the home of the Rutt’s Hut Ripper, with its ‘Secret’ relish. Ann Rutt was in fact one of the founders of Rutt’s Hut!
‘Fine chopped’ is so dependent on your perception. Back in the days when this recipe was published, people medium/course ground vegetables for relish not chopped. I plan on making again employing my meat grinder attachment on my mix master.
Citizens, please enjoy your celebration of Hanukkah with this unique take on a fried meal item – and please, when you light the first candle, remember the innocent people who died not a week ago as I write this due to the insanity of antisemitism… I would personally enjoy these fantastic dogs on Hanukkah with another fried dish – the classic (and inescapable!) latkes! 😉
Battle on – the Generalissimo
Citizens, please note that I can no longer afford to absorb the nearly $1000 per month it costs to keep the site running smoothly, including marketing expenses, etc. There is, however, a solution that benefits us all – one that will help to avoid the only other alternative, which is to add obnoxious ads throughout the site.
Become a Citizen Prime for only $4 per month and receive exclusive recipes, 3 free historic cookbook scans, discounts from TFD sponsors and so much more! For less than the cost of 1 Starbucks coffee, you can keep TFD Nation strong and proud! Details are here.