One of my favorite summer foods is corn dogs. I know you can buy them at the store and bake them in your oven, but they never taste as good as the ones at the fair, in all their deep-fried yumminess. So I saw this recipe in the Southern Living cookbook I'm working through, and I thought, what the heck, I'm just going to try it. So I did. I've been trying to take more pictures of the things I make, but I have too much self-respect to post a picture of this attempt.
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup diced onion (I didn't use this because I don't recall it being in fair corndogs...I used 1 tsp onion powder)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
10 hot dogs
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, making a well in the center. Combine egg and milk; add to dry mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Insert 8" or 10" wooden skewer into each hotdog, leaving a 2-3" handle. Dip each hot dog into batter, coating completely. Use a spoon to help coat hot dogs, if needed (more on this later).
Pour oil to a depth of 3 or 4 inches into a large heavy saucepan; heat to 375. Fry hot dogs in hot oil 2-3 minutes or until browned. Drain on paper towels; serve.
They make it sound SO simple. Of course I knew it wouldn't be as easy as all that. My first problem was getting the batter to stick to the hot dogs...their helpful suggestion of "use a spoon" wasn't all that helpful. I went from trying to batter them in the bowl, to pouring the batter into a tall glass to dip the hot dogs in to...this worked for two of them, before the batter level got too low and only went halfway up the hot dog. At this point I could have made more batter, because that method was effective, but I had exhausted my cornmeal supply. So then I poured the batter out onto a plate and rolled the hot dogs around in it. That didn't really work either. So only two of these corn dogs looked remotely normal. The rest had patchy batter all around it, like some kind of skin disease. I did fry them in oil. At first it did take 2 or 3 minutes, but as the oil got hotter, it started taking like 30 seconds, and I was afraid of something bad happening with that hot hot hot oil. So I took it off the heat (verrrry carefully) for like 5 minutes, then resumed frying these poor excuses for corn dogs.
All that being said, they actually did taste good. Sam said it was worth it and I should totally make them again, but he is wrong about that. I guess it will just be a summer-time, fair-type treat.