Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Lovin'

I have to talk myself out of buying crayons and pencils in bulk when I go to the store. This time of year, I crave 3-ring binders, lined paper, pocket folders, colored pencils, and backpacks. I want to go to school and see my name written on a desk, find a cubby that is all mine, and raise my hand to ask a question.

It's back-to-school time around these parts. That's right - early August.

And it's hot.

I mean real hot.

I mean I accidentally left a candle in my trunk, and it melted and was completely liquid. In an hour. Hot.

And because it's hot, we should all still be in the pool, sipping on juice, eating ice cream fresh fruit, and catching some rays, right? I haven't done that yet this summer. It's been work, work, work for a few weeks, but I've got a date with a pool, a float, and a big ol' margarita very soon.

So for this week, it's still summer at attempting creative.

And what's summer without baseball?

Oh yeah - and a Sara Evans concert after the victory.

And whether you're at the ballpark, watching from home, or just a fan - corn dogs are the perfect treat.

"But I don't fry."

Yeah, whatever. I don't either. I let other people fry. I'm scared of heating oil above, say, room temperature. But get over it just for this recipe. I did. Sorta.

Be Don't be OCD like me and set out all your ingredients, just to make sure you don't start and realize half-way through you're short some ingredient. (Been there. Done that. Can I get an "Amen!"?)

Stare in complete wonder that, yet again, you can't measure flour without it getting everywhere. Wonder why in the world that is.

Oh. That's just me? Okay, moving on.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper (don't be scared--it's okay), sugar, and kosher salt?


Combine buttermilk and water, then stir in dry ingredients. You know, 'til it's all batter-y. Set it aside.

Find your 8-quart pan. It needs to have high sides 'cause o' the oil that will bubble up.

Pour in vegetable oil. Boy, that's a lot of oil, but it's worth it. I promise. (By the way, why does the oil make the bottom of my pan look like gold leaf?)

Don't buy the totally-horrible flat toothpicks. I wasn't paying attention. They kept breaking on me. Oy.

Heat your oil to 375°F, using a candy thermometer. Breathe deeply. Heating oil is perfectly okay. Your house isn't going to explode. (Oh. That's just me, again? Okay, moving on.)

Skewer all your cocktail sausages and get them ready for a bath in the batter.

Congrats! You successfully heated your oil. And the world is still spinning.

Dunk your cocktail sausages in the batter. Now it's time for them to take a swim in the oil you successfully heated to 375°F.

Woohoo! We're cookin' corn dogs!

One pack of sausages makes about 40 mini corn dogs. I think I counted 39 in the end. One may or may not have walked off into someone's mouth before the headcount.

Ketchup. Mustard. Dipping sauces. Perfection. Mini corn dog perfection.

Mini Corn Dogs
adapted from Sunset

1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons water
4 cups vegetable oil
1 pack (16 ounces) cocktail sausages

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper, and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk and water. Then stir in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Let rest 10 minutes while the oil heats.
3. Heat vegetable oil to 375°F (measuring with a candy thermometer) in a high-sided, 8-quart pan. Insert a toothpick into each cocktail sausage and set aside.
4. When oil is heated, remix batter. If your bowl is shallow, transfer the batter to a tall/deep dish. This is to make dunking the sausages easier. Working with three sausages at a time, dip each sausage into the batter and drop directly into the heated oil. (Don't cook more than three at a time. They cook too quickly, and one may burn before you get it out if too many are in there.)
5. Turn corn dogs with a slotted spoon until it's golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain extra oil. Let cool slightly before eating.


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Melissa said...

I'm also pretty afraid of hot oil, but sort of got over it to make coconut shrimp. This is another good fried recipe to try!

Sara and Todd said...

Umm, how impressed am I that you HAVE a thermometer thingy for the oil. That's what holds me back from this kind of experiement...and the fear of blowing my house up with oil...and a very real fear that my diet would turn into NOTHING aside from minicorndogs...and elephant ears...stop judging. I'm over 7 months pregnant.

Kristen @ Miss Prissy Paige said...

I think I need a fry daddy. I hate the way my kitchen smokes when I fry and of course my landlord didn't put a fan in to help with it. Let's just say frying doesn't happen often at my house, I think the neighbors got tired of the smoke alarm constantly going off.

Brandy said...

I have the same love of all things school/office supply related. I tend to go overboard.
It's hot, hot, hot here too!

superh2ogirl said...

I so need to make these! They look so yummy! I LOVE corn dogs!


Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

oh my word i am terrified of using boiling oil to cook but you make it look easy!!

Larissa said...

Super yummy. Came from girl creative. My little men would love this. Your site looks so fun. I will have to look around.

I would love it if you stopped by sometime.

Just Another Day in Paradise


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