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This post represents a break through in our culinary forays into the world of deep frying. Our few prior attempts to deep fry various foods have been attempted without the aid of what we now know is a crucial component of the process…a candy/deep fry thermometer (duh)! Keeping the oil at a consistent and hot enough temperature is crucial to the achievement of a crisp and tasty product…it also ensures that the food doesn’t absorb too much oil (as it does if the oil is not hot enough.)
So, we present to you a recipe that would be an awesome addition to your Super Bowl spread. Corn dogs are not something that most people tend to make at home but they are fun, easy, and (dare I say) more delicious than what you may have tried at your local state fair and we even made a hot and tangy mustard to accompany them. We cut our hot dogs into thirds to make our dogs more appetizer friendly and also experimented with the batter by adding cheese and green onions to half of it. Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on the batter to make it more spicy, sweet, or herbaceous. We had some batter left over and dipped cheese sticks into the batter and fried them…yes, we went there. And I almost hate to admit how good deep fried corn dog cheese sticks are…I swoon.
Did you think we wouldn’t pair a wine with our corn dogs?!? I like to think that we made our meal classy by sipping a nice red while eating something deep fried and impaled on a stick. This Pinot Noir was surprisingly successful with the rich taste of the corn dogs and the spicy heat of the mustard. The wine has a strong acidity that cut through the juicy goodness and a light body that contrasted with the bold flavors of the dogs and mustard. The flavors of cherry, raspberry and vanilla added another dimension and balancing element to the meal.
I’d like to think that I am immune to all those advertisements and commercials that get shoved in our faces all day long but in this case it appears I am not. I saw a commercial for Sam Adams’ newest brew: Alpine Spring. Advertised as a spring brew I thought the advertised “bright citrus and floral aroma” would help cut through the oil from the corn dogs. Not only did this beer do its job well, it also happens to be a pretty tasty beer! This unfiltered lager is easy drinking with just enough body and flavor to make it stand well on its own as a good session beer. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to call and get one of those fancy meat loaf pans I saw on TV before their “buy one get one free (after paying separate shipping and handling, of course) deal ends.
8 hot dogs
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
About 8 cups vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
Chopped green onions, to taste (optional)
Grated cheddar cheese, to taste (optional)
a grill pan; 8 wooden ice-pop sticks; a deep-fat thermometer
Spray grill pan with cooking spray, then grill hot dogs over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly, then cut each hot dog into thirds. Put 3 tablespoons flour on another plate and roll hot dogs in flour to coat, shaking off excess.
Heat 3 inches oil to 370°F in a deep 3-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal, remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, cayenne, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk. Add any other ingredients you fancy such as cheese or green onions.
Working in batches of 2 or 3, dip hot dogs, 1 at a time, into batter to coat, then fry, turning occasionally, until batter is cooked through and golden-brown all over, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer corn dogs to paper towels to drain and insert a wooden stick into each corn dog. Return oil to 370°F and repeat process until all the dogs are fried.
1/2 cup Colman’s dry mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 large egg
2 Tbs. honey
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whisk together dry mustard and vinegar in a medium metal bowl until smooth. Chill, covered, overnight.
Bring a medium saucepan filled with 1 inch water to a simmer. To bowl of vinegary mustard, whisk in 1/4 cup water, egg, honey, cornstarch, and salt. Set bowl over simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until mustard thickens, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk for a minute, and then let cool.