Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

You ain’t nothin’ but a corn dog

Crunchy, moreish and decadent - with a corndog in one hand and a beer in the other I’d be a happy man.

Crunchy, moreish and decadent – with a corndog in one hand and a beer in the other I’d be a happy man.

I ate my first corndog last week. And it was curiously good.

A friend, after noting that I had never previously encountered this American fairground staple, took it upon herself to remedy the situation.

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A frankfurter was duly doused in a batter made from flour, milk, egg and corn meal and deep fried for a few minutes until crisp and golden.

At the time, having already tucked away lunch, I was interested as to how much of the corndog I might eat. In the end, I scoffed the lot and even chewed on the stick for a while wondering if I might chance a second.

Having never been to America, I am at a loss as to how Rosie’s corndogs might compare with those being served – for example – at the Texas State Fair. But I’m willing to bet they aren’t far away in taste terms.

Crunchy and moreish and decadent, they are essentially party food, something that I can imagine myself eating outside on a balmy evening, as the tug-o-war contest is taking place or I’m trying to win a yellow duck by throwing hoops onto a moving target.

With a corndog in one hand and a beer in the other, I imagine too, I’d be a happy man.

Back in freezing Tyrone however, there’s no yellow ducks or tug-o-wars – or even balmy evenings – but at least we can rest assured that great corn dogs are perfectly achievable at home. And we have the beer too of course. Don’t forget the beer.

I suppose, corndogs are essentially the American equivalent of battered sausages, though they generate extra kudos coming on a stick. Who doesn’t like food on sticks?

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What I should do is make a traditional battered sausage and a corndog and then eat them both and compare which is best.

I’m willing to bet too that anyone selling these bad boys at the next local event is going to make a bomb. Maybe I should invest in a food van and take my idea on the road.

Or maybe I’ll make them at home, layer on the mustard and red sauce and get fatter. Winner-winner-corndog-dinner!

INGREDIENTS

10 frankfurters
10 wooden skewers
130g of corn meal
130 of plain flour
good grinding of black pepper
4tsp of baking powder
40g of sugar
1 egg, whisked
250ml of milk
vegetable oil for frying

THE PLAN

Things will be made infinitely easier if you have a deep fat fryer for this mission. If you don’t an inch of oil in a frying pan will suffice.

In a bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and a good grinding of pepper. Add the egg and start adding the milk, whisking as you go.

You may not need all the milk but you want a thick batter, something that’s going to be nice and clingy. Retire this to the freezer while you finish prepping. If the batter is nice and cold, it’ll be thicker and it will prevent it melting off the frank.

Pre-heat your oil (if you’re doing this in a frying pan, set to heating on a medium heat) and as that’s happening, dry the franks on kitchen paper to maximise clinging and insert the sticks into the franks.

Next roll the frankfurters in the batter until well coated. Deftly transfer two franks at a time to the oil and fry until deep golden, about 3/4 minutes.

If you’re doing it in a frying pan, you’ll want to move them around a wee bit to make sure they’re cooking evenly.

Personally I like some American-style mustard for my corndog. But you can even eat them plain and they’ll still be great.

Also, you probably won’t need all the batter but fear not… Fry a ladleful as you normally would a pancake.

Waste not, want not.

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