Friday, February 13, 2015

"Failed" Corn Dogs, February 12, 2015

Yesterday, I decided to try my hand at making corn dogs from scratch. I was a little concerned that they'd be all browned and lovely on the outside and undercooked on the inside, as I've had them at fairs that way. Or that the batter would be flavorless. Or that it would be sodden and soft, falling off and sticking in my throat like paper pulp. So many ways they could have gone wrong. In a way, they did go wrong, in that the ingredients I thought would easily make batter for 4 hot dogs really only made enough for two and a half or three. It probably would have been enough for 4, had I been able to handle it with any sort of grace, but it was stubborn and insisted on being where it wanted to be. So, two, it was, with the rest tossed, especially given that the wife had already suggested we simply go out to dinner. When I informed her that I already had the fries in the oven (the plan was corn dogs, crinkle fries, corn, and salad), she then said perhaps the corn dogs could be tried as an appetizer and I could eat the fries for lunch today if the corn dogs were inedible. Well, she didn't actually use that word, but the meaning was clear. She cracks me up!

So, I finished battering the dogs and popped them in the hot oil. They were done in no time and had turned a gorgeous golden brown. However, the bumpy texture, combined with the shape, was pretty unappealing, I have to say---so much so that I did not take a picture. But they smelled yummy and I was determined at least to try them. Since Jeannene was clearly skeeved out by them, I cut them into little corn dog bites and put them on a plate with ketchup and mustard. They were yummy, indeed! She didn't like them, not one tiny bit, but I thought they were great. So, I am passing the recipe along to you!

Homemade Corn Dogs
1 c. Bisquick
3 tbsp. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 c. milk (I might use a little more next time, to make the batter easier to work with)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-4 hot dogs, room temp & patted dry (you could do veggie dogs)
Vegetable oil for frying

Mix dry ingredients together. Add milk and egg. Let stand about 10 minutes. Heat about 2" of oil in a large saucepan on medium-high to 370 degrees. Coat hot dogs in batter, then fry, 2 at a time, until golden brown. This will happen pretty quickly, so don't get involved in another project. Drain on paper towels and repeat, if doing more. Serves 2-4.

After that appetizer, we went to a local bar & grill called Christi's, which was packed with folks there, perhaps, for open mic night. We scored a table right by the fireplace, which was really wonderful, and a ditzy waitress, who kept forgetting to bring us things. She was really nice, just didn't seem to have much in the way of retentive brain cells. Menus? Oh, yeah. Sauce? Oh, yeah. Check? Oh, yeah. To-Go Box---Oh, never mind, we'll just go.

I am probably just too old and cranky, but the music was pretty awful and pretty loud. I've never loved having to shout at my dinner companion for them to hear me, but I do know that if you go to a bar on open mic night, it's stupid to gripe about bad, loud music! The filler band's lead singer grated on my nerves, too, with a really unfunny joke. He said, "This is the only love song I know," and launched into a cover of Guns 'N' Roses' "Used to Love Her" (which then says, "but I had to kill her," if you're not familiar with the song, a horrible, misogynistic piece). I've always hated the song and, having been in conversations about Christian Grey and Gamergate/Anita Sarkeesian/Brianna Wu this week, it really struck a wrong note with me.

But this isn't a blog about feminist critique of open mic night choices. It's a food blog, so back to the food. We split the nachos, which were terrific, with plenty of toppings. We ran out of chips before toppings, rather than the usual other way around. I also tried a jalapeƱo slice and discovered I quite like jalapeƱos on my nachos. I've always avoided them, assuming they'll be too hot for me, but I thought, "What the heck! What's the worst that can happen? Not much." Now, I know. We also got the buffalo chicken flatbread appetizer to share. I wasn't very hungry by the time it came, so I had very little. Jeannene took one bite and was horrified to discover they're quite generous with the blue cheese. I thought that was a huge asset, myself, and would gladly have taken it home. However, it's probably better that I didn't. One day of corn dog bites and nachos and junk is quite enough! But, someday when I've eaten virtuously and gotten plenty of exercise, I will go back. They do have healthier options that are also tasty, but I like the bar food. 

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