Like Tani, feeding people has been a part of my life that has evolved over the years. However, maybe because my nest is only semi-empty at this point in time or maybe because she has two daughters and I have two sons (the difference between boys and girls in family dynamics with a single mother is a whole other topic) the evolution itself has been quite different. She makes notes of the homecomings and that she now serves up traditions. Our homecomings are a little different….When the three of us are reunited, our traditional food behavior can be fairly non-traditional.
Sure, we have our traditional recipes for various holidays but at the moment Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two left where everyone is home to be served. So over the month long Christmas break and the several month long summer break we return to our version of serving up tradition. I grew up in a home with parents who enforced a bedtime to such a degree that it took me years to feel totally comfortable staying up past 10PM and we ate dinner at the same time every night. My kids did not grow up in a home like that for various reasons so we all stay up way too late at night and too frequently are looking at me and saying things like, “Mom, can you make chocolate chip pancakes?” or “I’m in the mood for corn dogs.”
Actually, “I’m in the mood for corn dogs” was a new one last summer. My older son said it. I am not exactly sure where it came from or what he had in mind when he said it because corn dogs had not played any kind of role in his junk food life. On the other hand, I have very fond memories of corn dogs; if the truth be known I LOVE corn dogs. Of course this was the middle of the night….not that corn dogs were all that readily available short of a street fair at any time. However, as I have probably already confessed, I am a FoodNetwork addict. Of course, they didn’t disappoint, hat tip to Alton Brown!
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2003
- Prep Time:
- 20 min
- Inactive Prep Time:
- 15 min
- Cook Time:
- 5 min
- 8 corn dogs
- 1 gallon peanut oil
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons (approximately 1 large) jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
- 1 (8.5-ounce) can cream-style corn
- 1/3 cup finely grated onion
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch, for dredging
- 8 beef hot dogs
Special equipment: 8 sets chopsticks, not separated
Pour oil into a deep fryer or large heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the jalapeno, corn, onion, and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once, and stir only enough times to bring the batter together; there should be lumps. Set batter aside and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Scatter the cornstarch into a dry pie pan. Roll each hot dog in the cornstarch and tap well to remove any excess.
Transfer enough batter to almost fill a large drinking glass. Refill the glass as needed. Place each hot dog on chopsticks, and quickly dip in and out of the batter. Immediately and carefully place each hot dog into the oil, and cook until coating is golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. With tongs, remove to cooling rack, and allow to drain for 3 to 5 minutes.
Of course, it was the middle of the night so we had to improvise somewhat. We did have hotdogs. Amazingly, I actually had a can of cream corn that I had purchased for a different recipe. No chopsticks but had wooden skewers that worked just fine. If you add a little white vinegar to milk you have faux buttermilk and of course tongs and a cooling rack are totally optional.
So, not exactly a Norwegian Christmas Breakfast but if anyone ever says to you in the middle of the night that they are in the mood for corn dogs you are all set!