If you know anything about me by now, you may have gathered that when it comes to holidays…I’m in it for the food!
Summer holidays are the best excuse to indulge in carnival fare and other American favorites–dogs, brats, burgers, and ribs are all king. With Independence Day just days away, I’ve had hot dogs on the brain. Enter the corn dog, a true-blue American creation born of state fair ingenuity.
Did I just imply that corn dogs are ingenious? Yeah, I totes did…because it’s a HOT DOG dipped in CORN BATTER and FRIED to golden, crisp perfection. It doesn’t get more deliciously indulgent than that–and not indulgent in that gratuitous way deep fried butter or candy bars are–but, in that way that lounging all day pool or lakeside, sipping cool beverages, and eating summer foods is.
Corn dogs always felt too daunting and so cumbersome to make at home. I always left it to the state fair and carnival professionals with deep fryers and gallons of hot oil. Then, one day it clicked…make them into a more manageable pop! Hot dogs are cut into thirds, skewered, dredged in cornstarch, and then dipped into a corn-y batter before being fried. You only need about 3 inches of oil in a medium saucepan. Gallons of oil and stress levels are spared, and you’re rewarded with a deliciously festive treat that would be welcome at any summertime fête.
Corn Dog Pops
I used skewers cut in half for these pops, just snip off the pointy end with shears so no one gets spiked mid-chomp. You will have extra batter that can be used to coat other bits you feel like frying, we used it to deep fry some pickled jalapeno slices.
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 package (8 links) hot dogs, cut into thirds
bamboo skewers trimmed and cut in half
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cob corn, grated on a box grater
1/4 cup grated onion
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup buttermilk
Roll hot dog pieces in a light coating of cornstarch and skewer. Set aside.
In a medium, high sided sauce pan, heat 3-4 inches of oil to 350*F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels for draining.
In a large, deep bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cayenne. In a large measuring cup, mix together corn, onion, egg, buttermilk, and honey. Add to the dry mixture and stir to combine. Dip cornstarch coated hot dogs in batter and fry in batches–4-6 pops at a time–until coating is deep, golden brown. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towel lined pan. Enjoy warm with desired condiments.