I love how when you ask people about some of their favourite memories, they often revolve around food. Whether it is dinners with their families, dishes they used to cook in the kitchen with someone, or even stories about travel and adventure which ultimately always end up in a story about where they ended up eating.
Food is also great at making people reminisce. Something as simple as a taste or a smell can bring you back to a special place in time. Next time you’re chatting with someone you don’t know that well, ask them about some of their favourite foods- I guarantee it will not only help you get to know them better, but it will help you connect with them in a much more meaningful way.
I have many of these memories from my childhood- and one in specific revolves around the recipe I’m sharing with you today. Every year until I moved out practically my family and I would go to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) together. We didn’t have too many traditions as a family, but this was always one of them.
What became one of the things I would look forward to was getting a Coke in a collectors cup (they would have exclusive reusable cups often in weird shapes or with fun straws) and getting a corndog! There were plenty of vendors that sold corndogs around the fairgrounds, but there was one that made them the best (in my opinion). They were the best mix of sweet, savoury, with just a bit of heat. They came in two sizes, regular (normal hotdog) and jumbo (a footlong hotdog). The batter was a great thickness, balancing out the thick juicy hotdog that was inside.
Remembering that corndog the other day, and having just picked up more cornmeal, I thought, “Why not corndogs?” So I started my corndog creation journey. This took me a few tries to get to where I loved it and I am happy I kept trying because these are a real crowd pleaser now! In fact, I’m making them for my parents next weekend for my birthday.
Make sure to let these cool a bit before eating. They won’t be too hot to eat, but I find the flavour comes out best once they’ve had a chance to sit.
10 Regular Hotdogs, or 6-8 Jumbo dogs
1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Cornmeal
3 1/2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Extra Large Eggs
Vegetable Oil for frying
Using a paper towel, ensure the hotdogs are completely dry and then skewer with wooden sticks. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking soda, black and cayenne pepper, and paprika. Whisk together.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg until smooth and then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix ingredients until just mixed. Let sit.
In a deep dish pot filled halfway up (3-4″) with oil, heat on medium until temperature reaches 375.
Dip the hotdogs into the batter and coat evenly. (Pro tip: coat my hands with flour and grab the hotdog first. The flour helps the batter stick). Ensure there are no holes in the batter. Add the coated hotdogs to the oil in batches of 3. Cook until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).
Remove hotdogs from oil with tongs and let dry on paper towel. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt as soon as removed from oil.
Repeat this process until the oil gets back to 375F each time.
Serve with mustard or ketchup. Fresh dill goes very well with this batter too!
I hope you love these! I know I sure did. If you make them, tag me on Instagram at @JackDHarding