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Thursday, October 21

Dog-Gone It!!

I was doing some serious thinking about what to write today's blog about, and suddenly it hit me...why not write about something that's almost as American as Apple Pie?  I'm talking a food that brings back nostalgia, making us think of home-town carnivals or the circus?  I'm talking Corn Dogs!!

That's right...Corn Dogs.  They are actually fairly easy to make at home, and are a comfort food to many of us.  I know that, on days when I'm just not up to something elaborate, a couple of corn dogs are truly a gift in disguise!!  Everyone ready to head back to yesteryear?  Let's go!!


First off, you want to keep in mind that corn dogs ARE what you put into them.  If you use el-cheapo hot dogs, they'll taste like it.  So, for me, I highly recommend buying a higher end package of "dogs"...all beef, preferably.  Ball Park, Hebrew National, and Nathan's are GREAT for this.  Also, if you can't find flat skewers, go to your store's craft section...they carry popsicle sticks in big packages for very little cash. Now, on to the recipe!!

HOMEMADE CORN DOGS

1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal (not self-rising)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening (Crisco)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
10 to 12 wooden skewers (or popsicle sticks)
10 to 12 hot dogs (smoked or cheese filled are fantastic)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

For batter, in a large bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, dry mustard and salt.  Using a pastry blender (or 2 table knives), cut in the shortnening until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  In a small bowl, combine the egg and milk, whisking thoroughly.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture, blending well.  Let stand for about 5 minutes.

Insert the wooden skewers in the ends of the hotdogs (leaving about 2 inches out).  Pour vegetable oil into a large skillet to a depth of about 1 inch, and heat over medium-high heat (you want the temp to be around 365 degrees...this will keep the batter from falling off the hotdogs).

Coat the hotdogs (don't do more than 3 at one time...you want LOTS of room in the pan when cooking) with the batter.  Use a spoon to pour the batter over the hotdog, turning to coat the whole thing evenly. If the batter is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time to thin it slightly.

Once coated, place in hot oil.  After 10 seconds, flip them over...this will help the batter to stay on.  Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, turning back over halfway through.  You want them to turn a deep golden brown, but not burn.  Once done, place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and put in the oven to stay warm while doing the next batch.  Serve hot, and if desired, with ketchup and mustard for dipping.  Makes 5-6 servings (2 corndogs per serving).

Wasn't that easy?  Trust me, once you've had a homemade corndog, you won't ever want to go back to a frozen one.  ENJOY!!!

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