You know what? I've never liked corndogs. The ones I had came from concession stands, and I just didn't like the taste. But after I made my own corndogs from scratch, I became a corndog convert. Homemade corndogs, in my opinion, are far more delicious than their mass-produced commercial counterparts. Bonus: they are really easy to make!
* 4 cups of oil - I used half peanut and half rice bran oil, but you could use corn oil or canola oil if you prefer.
* 1 cup yellow cornmeal
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1 (8.5-ounce) can cream-style corn
* 1/3 cup finely grated onion
* 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
* 4 tablespoons cornstarch
* 8 hot dogs of your choice - beef, turkey, soy, etc.
* Disposable wooden chopsticks (optional)
Pour oil into a deep fryer or large heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F. I used a deep metal saucepan. I don't have a thermometer, so I set the stovetop dial to medium-low heat ("3" on my stove.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the creamed corn, onion, and milk. You can substitute buttermilk for milk if you like.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine. Don't worry if there are lumps, this is okay. If it's too dry, add a little bit more milk.
Scatter the cornstarch on a plate. Roll each hot dog in the cornstarch and coat evenly with a thin layer of cornstarch, like you are powdering a baby's butt. you don't want huge clumps of cornstarch on the hot dogs.
Insert a chopstick into each hotdog - note, I didn't use chopsticks in mine because I'm not particular about having my corndogs on a stick. It is totally up to you. Check the oil to see if it is hot enough or too hot. I added a tablespoon of batter to the oil to see how it cooked. If it gets too dark too fast, your oil is too hot and you should lower the heat. If it turns nicely golden and crispy, it's just right. Next, dip a dog in the batter, and then carefully place it in the hot oil, and cook until the coating is golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes. With tongs, remove the corndog and drain on paper towels before eating.
(Images: Kathryn Hill)