Fried, and on a stick. Two of the things that make up one of my favorite childhood foods, the corn dog, the food that every state fair snack wishes they could be. A fried candy bar? Gross. Fried Coke? Gag. Fried beer? Don’t even get me started. But an all-American hot dog wrapped in sweet, crunchy batter andÂ convenientlyÂ placed on a stick, now that’s a force to be reckoned with. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait for the fair or a carnival to come to town to get this delicious treat. A quick trip to family-owned The Corn Dog Place, located in the Mall of Abilene, and I was transported to corn dog heaven. I have fond memories of being dragged along on numerous shopping trips as a child. All the torture of following my mother from store to store could be soothed by a fresh, hot corn dog drenched in mustard and ketchup. So you can only imagine my reaction a few weeks ago when I found out that the Corn Dog Place had closed.
I was faced with the chore of finding another place to satisfy my corn dog cravings.
Knowing that I was heartbroken, a well-meaning friend shared that there are tons of fast food places that offer the fried dogs. “Try Sonic, a corndog is a corndog. It doesn’t make a difference where it’s from,” she said.
I laughed at her ignorance. The Corn Dog Place put pride into their menu. Homemade batter and freshly fried. That makes a huge difference. But in a time of desperation I went to Sonic. I was disappointed when I received my lukewarm dog. The batter was bland and dry, definitely a let-down, although I did find brief comfort in my Route 44 Strawberry Limeade.
Since that day I have tried numerous other places. The best I would have to say is Weinerschnitzel. Besides all kinds of hot dogs varieties, they also offer regular size and mini corn dogs. I had the mini corn dogs. As a restaurant that focuses on hot dogs, I wasn’t let down.
Unfortunately I still believe that none could match the fresh homemade flavor that would burst from a corn dog form The Corn Dog Place.
That’s when I realized- if I wanted homemade, I was going to have to make it myself.
The same friend that suggested Sonic, sent me an email with a recipe. I guess she wanted to redeem herself.
I tried the recipe. The first bite brought me back to my days as a child. Happiness on a stick, and I’m sharing it with you. Next weekend get all your friends together, and share the happiness with all of them.
Home-made Corn Dogs (Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com)
*Yields 20 Corndogs
You will need:
1 quart oil for deep frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 pounds hot dogs
Here’s what you do:
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in melted bacon drippings. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, buttermilk, and baking soda. Mix until everything is smooth and well blended.
Pat the hot dogs dry with paper towels so that the batter will stick. Insert wooden sticks into the ends. Dip the hot dogs in the batter one at a time, shaking off the excess. Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil until they are as brown as you like them. Drain on paper towels or serve on paper plates.