Monday, 10 June 2013

Double Corn Dogs with Caraway Ketchup

After becoming slightly obsessed with my cheap ice cream maker the next, slightly pointless but fun, piece of kitchen equipment I coveted to clog up yet more work surface space was a deep fat fryer.

I found one being advertised cheaply online in that post-Christmas lull, and so when everyone else was stocking up on low fat ready meals, cutting out booze and going jogging I was decanting three litres of finest vegetable oil in to my new brushed metal toy, while trying not to spoil its shiny glow with greasy finger marks.

Having grown up in a fat fryer free house, getting a job in a kitchen at the age of 17 meant spending most Tuesday nights at work sticking anything I could find in the industrial vat of boiling oil used for cooking fish, chips and other frozen potato based products. Whole eggs, Danish pastries, baked beans, sausages not much escaped a dunking and (most) of it was still pretty edible.

Now, fifteen years on, I realised frying was still just as fun. Soon most our dinners were prepared via a dunk in oil; tonkotsu pork steaks with shredded white cabbage, crispy chicken and crunchy hash browns. While everyone else was losing weight on their post-xmas detoxes, the Ewing and I were increasing outwards at a steady rate.

Thankfully the prospect having your dinner coated in a slightly greasy sheen, coupled with all the filtering and cleaning and burnt fingers, meant my enthusiasm soon waned and the fryer is now (mostly) sat collecting dust. That said it’s still a rather useful, and fun addition to our kitchen. A hot, crisp schnitzel is truly a thing of beauty, and homemade chips are an indulgence worth a long walk for.

My greatest fried achievement thus far has been these corn dog/hushpuppy hybrids which have become one of the Ewing’s very favourite things. And, despite ordering them elsewhere on several occasions, she has had to admit (under some duress, I might add) that mine are still the nicest she’s tasted.

After originally making the batter to make corn dogs – batter coated frankfurters impaled on sticks, usually eaten at funfairs or boardwalks in America- I’m not sure if I don’t prefer it fried as balls of dough, sans sausage, These hushpuppy fritters can be pimped with small nuggets of cut up frank, if you want, but I find that the sweet, corn-spiked dough is pretty perfect as it is. A bowl full of these, piping hot from the fryer, makes a very nice nibble with a cold beer or two.

I’ve spiked the ketchup dip with a few toasted caraway seeds; the anise note complements the smoked pork, and some yellow ballpark mustard to help cut a swathe through the rich batter. Spicy barbecue sauce also makes a very good match. If you leave out the corn, hushpuppy fritters served with butter and honey makes a perfect treat for the sweet-toothed.

Double Corn Dogs with Caraway Ketchup

vegetable oil, for deep frying
150g/5oz cornmeal or polenta
150g tinned sweetcorn
125g/4oz plain flour
50g/2oz sugar
3 tsp baking powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
225ml milk
10 thin frankfurter sausages (cut each frank into three if you want mini dogs)
wooden skewers, soaked

2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp American yellow mustard
1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly toasted

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer to 160C
Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and milk together, add sweetcorn and gradually stir the mixture into to the dry ingredients.
Whisk together lightly to make a batter.
Put a skewer through each frankfurter sausage and dip it into the batter until well coated.
Place the frankfurters into the deep-fat fryer, two or three at a time, and cook until the outsides are golden-brown. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
If you have any extra batter, place small spoonfuls carefully into the oil and cook as above.

To serve, mix the mustard and ketchup and 3/4 of the caraway seeds together in a bowl, garnish with the remaining caraway seeds and serve with the corn dogs.

1 comment:

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