Spicy Yellow Mustard (see recipe intro), for dipping
Makes:8 corn dogs
Deep-fried funnel cakes are a sweet fair-food favorite, but corn dogs get the blue ribbon for savory treats. There’s nothing like watching a hot dog hand-dipped in batter emerge crispy from the deep-fryer at the beach boardwalk or amusement park. Now you can bring the state fair home—it’s easy to make your own corn dogs. Freedom to choose from all-beef, chicken, turkey, or even veggie dogs is an added plus. And don’t forget the ketchup and mustard!
Special equipment: You will need a deep-frying/candy thermometer and a tall, narrow container or drinking glass, such as a pint glass, for this recipe.
Candy-apple craft sticks give these corn dogs an authentic state-fair feel. Look for them next to the apples in the produce section of the grocery store or order them online. If you can’t find them, use 6-inch wood skewers or wood coffee-stirrers instead.
Game plan: The fried corn dogs can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
1Heat the oven to 250°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet; set aside.
2Pour the oil into a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil temperature reaches 360°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer.
3Meanwhile, insert a craft stick lengthwise into each hot dog (try to keep the stick aligned in the center of the hot dog), leaving about 2 inches of the stick exposed at the bottom; set aside.
4When the oil is almost ready (about 325°F), whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk, eggs, honey, and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cornmeal mixture to the milk mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until a smooth batter forms. Pour some of the batter into a tall, narrow container or drinking glass, leaving 1 inch of room at the top.
5When the oil is ready, evenly dip a hot dog into the glass of batter by holding the stick and rotating the hot dog as needed until it’s completely covered with batter. Immediately place into the hot oil. Repeat with a second hot dog. Fry, turning occasionally, until light golden brown all over, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the corn dogs to the wire rack on the baking sheet and place in the oven.
6Repeat with the remaining hot dogs, working with 2 at a time, refilling the glass with batter as needed, and letting the oil return to 360°F between batches. (When you reach the last 2 hot dogs, you may need to tilt the glass sideways while rotating the dogs to coat them evenly with batter.) Serve immediately with ketchup and mustard for dipping.