Monday, June 27, 2011

Recipe - The Perfect Corn Dog

Mmmm corn dogs... what a treat! Ok they aren't exactly 'good' for you but this isn't what my blog is all about, it's about bringing you back to basics and cooking it gluten free. What does summer call out to you? BBQs, grilling out, family, good food, ball games, fairs... and with all those come the yummy things like CORN DOGS! Ok I have a complete weakness for these, I have since I was very little girl and even now as I'm getting on into my 30s.

Of all the things that are perfect for a gluten free diet, still be an indulgence but not be so bad for you food wise that you shouldn't even have it... it's these. They can be made short or long, thick or thin (depending on your batter) and for those that have the pleasures of finding gluten free hot dogs with say cheese in them, your well on your way! After all one of the biggest gluten free flour items out there is based on corn and the other being rice.

There are quite a few tips you should read and follow before going onto the recipe. It's a wonderful treat but they have to be made in a certain way, with certain things and they should be followed. I've made this quite a few times (will have to revisit for better photos though as the photos I have are again about 3years old now) and if you miss a tip or don't follow a direction, things can go horribly wrong and you've ruined a batch or 2, known from experience.

Tip #1 - Use a deep fryer. These will float first off and 2nd, you need something that is going to keep a nice even heated oil temp. A pan on an oven will vary as much as 20+ degrees at any given time as it regulates its set temperature. A fryer will only range about 5 degrees ever... unless you have a really ancient fryer over course.

Tip #2 - Always use a fresh batch of oil with exception if you have just made a batch of corn dogs. Don't mix this with other foods when frying because they will pick up the taste of what ever else was made in the oil before.

Tip #3 - Fry these all at a high temp. I have a temp of 180c (350f) and I used it on full but stood there with them the entire time to ensure I cooked them evenly and didn't burn them. It also ensures that the batter flash seals on the outside while the inside does this most wonderful steam style cooking. Yes the only true fat from the frying is what is absorbed on the outside shell, never inside... it's all nice and fluffy if done right.

Tip #4 - Make sure you have a plate/baking sheet ready with paper towels to set freshly fried corn dogs on to get rid of extra oil. This is vital if you don't want soggy corn dogs.

Tip #5 - Make sure when frying that you do not crowd the dogs. Even though you think you will have all this room when placing them in there, you won't. They will expand and you will need room to turn these as they cook. I suggest for the size I will explain below and for a normal sized deep fryer to not cook them more then 5/6 at a time. I used a mini fryer so I only did 2/3 at a time. Use your judgement, if you think it's gonna be too much, it probably will be, have patience... it's worth it!

Tip #6 - Let the batter sit for at least 10minutes before starting with the battering process. This will allow the corn meal to absorb the liquid much better and make batter stick to the hot dogs a lot better.

Tip #7 - If you are using full length hot dogs (I cut mine into more 1-2 bite sized pieces) I would suggest finding a jar longer then the hot dog you are going to use so that you can batter them with ease. This way you will get a good coating along the entire length. A good suggestion is if you buy hot dogs in a jar, simply rinse and dry the jar (don't even have to clean it if you are making these straight away) and use the jar as it should be just a bit longer then the hot dogs themselves. Other tall cups or glasses or anything else work well for full length ones.

Tip #8 - Use popsicle sticks because using something to thin width wise will just result in you loosing the hot dog in the thick batter or worse, in the frying process. I used tooth picks for the ones I made (mini after all) and I lost a number of them while trying to batter. If making mini, I might even suggest that you use something like a toothpick, coat them and then drop them in but use another toothpick to 'push' off the dog without the stick. Who needs a stick anyhow when they are mini??

Tip #9 - Make sure your using corn meal for the batter and not something called corn flour or corn starch. You want the really course stuff, not the flour/fine style stuff that is meant more for thickening sauces/soups.

Tip #10 - When preparing the hot dogs before the batter process, I suggest using latex or vinal style powder free gloves (like you find at the doctors office) while doing it. It makes for quick clean up afterwards and if you end up with too much moister on them with all the flour, it's easier to clean them off then your hands each time. I suggest this actually any time someone has to batter, bread or flour anything.

With that all out of the way, here is the recipe. Enjoy (I hope) your re-newed love for the good ol' American style corn dog!
These directions are for the mini style ones I have photos for, adjust as needed for full length. I will revisit this recipe I'm sure sometime during the summer and will do it again but for longer ones.

 1 cup GF flour mix
 2/3 cup corn meal
 2 TBS sugar
2 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 ts salt (optional)
 2 eggs
 1 cup milk
 1 TBS oil (other then frying oil)
 1 package (10) GF hot dogs
 GF flour mix for coating hot dogs

Combine GF flour mix, corn meal, sugar and salt (if using) and make sure the corn meal is well combined throughout. Add oil, eggs and milk starting at 3/4th cup and add 1 TBS at a time if more is needed. Most likely you'll end up using a bit more the longer you let the batter sit. Simply whisk it together until there are no lumps and let sit while preparing hot dogs for battering (tip #6 above).

Cut hot dogs about 3inches long. The sausage style hot dogs I used were massive so I had a lot more then the normal American style hot dog will make. Pierce each hot dog end with popsicle stick or with toothpick if doing it the mini corn dog style and be careful when using a tooth pick, see tip #8 above.

Set up your fryer and get it heating so it's nice and hot while you take the next steps. dredge hot dogs in a gluten free flour mix (I would think plain corn starch would work just as well but if you have a mix available like I do, use it by all means). Shake/rub off any excess flour as you just want these dusted so that when you go to batter them that the batter will stick to them properly. I suggest laying them all out on foil after your done with the dredging, it makes it easier to work with while doing the battering and frying process. Do this for all the hot dogs you intend to use before going on to the other steps. You don't want to have to stop in the middle of frying just because you need to coat more hot dogs.

When fryer is at temp, take the amount of hot dog pieces (on a stick) and place them stick side up into the batter bowl. Turn and twist hot dog stick until well coated and make sure you get the top part where the stick is as well as you want the batter to seal around the stick once you set it in the hot oil.

Transfer straight from battering bowl to the deep fryer. If high enough, the corn dog will be sealed on the outside and actually steam itself until cooked on in the inside. That wonderful 'corn dog' shape will come to it's own very quickly when you start to fry. Make sure you stay near by. You want a light golden brown color but from my experience you will need to turn them and might even have to hold them in place while they fry because they like to float but for some reason don't like to turn on their own. I suggest using heat resistant tongs when doing this as it will give you the mobility that you to keep these cooking correctly.

When you have a nice light to dark golden brown color all around, remove from fryer to prepared paper towel lined plate or baking sheet (tip #4 above). Let cool slightly before serving, the inside will be extremely hot!

 I always liked to mix plain ol' American original style French's
with ketchup and use it as dipping sauce but I bet my BBQ
Sauce Recipe
would go wonderfully with these as well!
 If you like cheese filled hot dogs and can find them gluten free, they will work wonders!
 If you ended up making dozens of these wonderful mouth full size treats, put in freezer bags or other freezer ware and freeze. They take only seconds in the microwave or a few minutes in the oven to bring them right back to their hot out of fryer taste.
 Comment and leave your own suggestion!

Edited On 4-20-2012
I will be making these again very soon. This is one of oldest recipes to date and it's been years since I made them. I have all the ingredients ready to go, fresh oil in the fryer and my canon camera at hand to make this better. Will re-post the recipe with new photos in a new entry.

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