Somehow, we earned the corn dog nickname. There are so many other things we creatively devious LSU fans could have been called, so many other foods we’re obsessed with and probably smell like…but corn dogs…hmm. Always been a head scratcher. Alrighty. Let’s just go with it. Here’s to embracing your trashy, Bama-hatin’, carnival lovin’ corn dog self this weekend over fine specimens made in the comfort of your own home. It is an away game, after all, robbing LSU fans of the opportunity to cook up elephant-themed delicacies outside Tiger Stadium, which have actually been known to stump aghast internet columnists.
But back to corn dogs. Admittedly, I love ’em! I still remember the sweet anticipation of the industrial ones served in the cafeteria of my public elementary school. So much better than something wholesome like beef stew or baked chicken! Even today, when my family swims at our casual neighborhood “club” in the summertime, a corn dog is my kids’ favorite lowbrow snack bar treat, no matter what cardboard box it might have slithered out of, or how much time it spent in the microwave. I have to steal bite(s).
The most memorable corn dog I’ve ever experienced was the gargantuan ‘Poon Dog my son ordered one year at the Harpoon Beer and Barbecue Festival in Vermont. It could have fed all five of us. I loved its slightly grainy breading, and the breading’s faint sweetness. I loved dipping each encased bite, first in mustard, then in ketchup, because what’s better than mixing those two things? And who doesn’t love holding food by a stick?
But while I’m willing to walk on the convenience-store-wild-side once in a while, there’s something pretty satisfying about making your own preservative-free corn dogs at home, especially for an LSU vs. Bama tailgate.
Win or lose, here’s to embracing your inner corn dog eatin’ self.
Homemade Mini Corn Dogs (inspired by the food blog justataste.com)
I like the idea of mini corn dogs because it’s a lot more practical to deep-fry dogs this size in your home kitchen.
Makes about 24-30 mini corn dogs
2-12 oz. package beef franks (such as Hebrew National)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
Vegetable oil for frying
About 1/3 cup cornstarch, for lightly coating each dog
Thin bamboo skewers
Cut wieners in half and insert bamboo skewers into each cut end. Begin heating oil. You want it to reach about 360 degrees. Dry each half-wiener, then roll gently in cornstarch. It will help batter adhere. Set aside.
Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix eggs and milk in another bowl, then add to dry ingredients and combine. Batter will be thick and pasty. Spoon some of batter into a narrow glass, such as a juice glass. It makes it easier to batter the dogs.
Working a few at a time, dip each skewered dog into batter, maneuvering it around with the stick until the batter adheres evenly. It takes a little practice, but you’ll get the hang of it. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. If the oil is hot enough, this should take about 3 minutes.
Cool on paper towels and serve with mustard and ketchup. And pray we don’t keep running it up the middle.