So before we even get started, before that first line is finished, let me apologize. This post is picture heavy. I may have gone a little nuts. Seriously, I think paparazzi take less pictures of Kim Kardashian than I did of these corn dogs. I couldn't help it. They were beautiful. They were shiny and craggy and perfectly browned and the camera just loved them!
So as it turns out I have never fried anything before. Something about hot oil over an open flame causes anxiety. I knew it was about time to conquer this fear and move on. And what better way to reward myself for overcoming this irrational fear with than a plate of hot, crispy mini-corn dogs? So with the lid to the dutch oven nearby (in case the oil flamed I could put that on quick and suffocate the flame!) and the baking soda in hand (in case the fire leaped out of the dutch oven!) I embarked on my frying mission.
The roughly 6000 episodes of Chopped I have watched on the Food Network taught me to make sure the oil was hot before placing the fry-ee in the fry-er. I put a thermometer on the side to make sure the oil was 350 before I started but you can ensure your oil is hot by testing a bit of batter. The oil is ready when the batter sizzles and bubbles.
Other than the oil there was the batter to worry about. I knew I wanted it sweet and while a lot of recipes call for sugar I decided to go with honey which would pair perfectly with the honey mustard dipping sauce I knew I would be dunking these little guys in. This batter uses a hefty amount of baking soda - the fluffier the batter the easier it sticks.
After making the batter if you are having trouble getting it to stick to the dogs try patting the dogs dry first then dipping them into the batter. Finally, don't let them hang out after being dipped - toss them right into the hot oil. The batter will drip off the dog but after it has been placed in the oil it won't continue to run and will adhere to the dog creating the tastiest little covering there ever was.
These mini corn dogs were GREAT. Nick especially couldn't get enough. He had polished off the entire batch before I had finished eating my second mini-dog! Just in case you don't live with a hot dog eating machine and you do have leftovers you can freeze these in an airtight container and reheat them later by placing them in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. Or you can just ship them to my apartment - I know someone that would be more than happy to eat your leftovers ;)
Mini-Corn Dog RecipeIngredients
yields about 24 mini corndogs
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup honey
1 cup milk
1 (16 oz.) package hot dogs
Vegetable oil or canola oil for frying (about 20 oz)
1) Place a dutch oven filled with about 2-3 inches of vegetable or canola oil and heat to 350 degrees. You can test the oil to be sure it is ready by placing a spoonful of batter into the oil. It should bubble and sizzle and start to brown. If no bubbles form or it only bubbles slightly the oil is not hot enough yet.
2) Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add egg, milk, and honey and whisk together.
3) Cut the hot dogs into 2 inch pieces and skewer each with a toothpick. Dip each hot dog segment into the cornmeal batter and instantly place the battered dog into the hot oil. The batter will stick to the dog but will begin to run off if you don't put it in the oil quickly. The batter rises as it cooks in the oil so even if it doesn't look perfect when placed in the oil it will even out while it cooks.
4) Allow each dog to cook in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4-6 minutes per dog. You can freeze these after they have cooled in an air-tight container and re-heat them by placing them in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce Recipe
yields 1/2 cup dipping sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dijion style French mustard
1/2 T. hot sauce
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add additional hot sauce to taste.