Sunday, March 29, 2009

Corndogs, Not Just for LSU fans

After taking a few liberties with Alton Brown’s recipe for corned beef, I thought that I should follow one of his recipes to the t. Luckily, the “man food show” episode was one tv last week.

Having always been a fan of corn dogs and wanting to try this recipe for a while, I figured there’s no better time than the present.

It’s not a very big ingredient list, but much more than I thought went into a corndog.

* 1 gallon peanut oil

* 1 cup yellow cornmeal

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* 2 teaspoons kosher salt

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

* 2 tablespoons (approximately 1 large) jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced

* 1 (8.5-ounce) can cream-style corn

* 1/3 cup finely grated onion

* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

* 4 tablespoons cornstarch, for dredging

* 8 beef hot dogs

First up was the jalapeno,

After it was seeded and minced, I set to work on grating the onion.

At first I tried a micro planer, but the onion disappeared. I ended up using my box grater.

I added the onion and jalapeno to a large bowl and then dumped in a can of cream corn and 1 ½ cups of buttermilk.

The dry ingredients, 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 cup ap flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp cayenne pepper, were added to another bowl. Soon everything was ready to be mixed.

I made sure to stir until was just mixed, and then left it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Alton explains that the batter needs to rest in order for the starches to absorb moisture. It just gave me a chance to get oil and the hot dogs ready.

Here’s my key to success, all beef Hebrew nationals, much better than those mystery meat dogs from the fair.

You don’t know what weird is until you try to stuff a chopstick in a hotdog. Alton insists that unbroken wooden chopsticks are the best stick for corndogs. I figured the worst thing that could happen is I’m out a few chopsticks and hotdogs.

With some cajoling, I had seven sets of chopsticks in seven hotdogs.

An important step is to get a thin layer of corn starch on each hotdog, or else the batter won’t stick.

Speaking of batter, with a delicate touch and a spoon, I was able to get a glass full of batter.

With the oil ready at 375, I gave a hotdog a quick dunk in the batter and then into the hot oil.

I couldn’t figure out a way to keep the corndogs propped on the edge. In the end, I just acquiesced and let them float in the oil.


Sure it may not have that golden brown aesthetic quality of prontopup, but these corn dogs will kick any prontopup’s ass.

Even with seven corndogs, they were devoured before I could take a picture of one dressed with mustard.

The best thing, aside from the simplicity of the recipe, was the first bite. I’ve always liked Hebrew nats, but taking a bite of a Hebrew nat corndog is a surreal experience. It’s the flavorful crunch of the exterior combined with the juicy interior of the hotdog, punctuated by the kosher beefiness of the hotdog. As corny and clichéd as it sounds, these corndogs truly were good eats.

No comments: