When I think of a corn dog, I think of the 70’s. Catching the beach bus, with a group of friends was a huge summer activity. The first stop was the pier. The pier was never our final destination, but it was a great place to start. A hot dog on a stick, a lemonade, and a soft serve cone was the prelude to a day filled with sunning, tanning (couldn’t leave without the Hawaiian Tropics), and of course, boy watching.
As I look back, I am somewhat in awe (or disgusted) as to what I consumed as a young girl and early teenager. It was simply different back then. We were not bombarded with weekly news updates of what should be avoided, what should be consumed, and what is causing deaths. We just skipped along, on our merry way, and ate what ever the heck we felt like eating.
Today, we are more conscious, or are we more aware? My kids have never eaten McDonald’s and the only corn dogs they have tasted are the ones from Whole Foods, still not the best choice. They eat whole foods; rich in flavor, without preservatives, using primarily local ingredients. As our family embarks on a new way of eating(gluten free), redesigning the daily lunch box meal has taken on a life of itself.
My kids prefer a hot meal at lunch time. A sandwich has never been their meal of choice so foods like left over taco meat, brisket,or pasta carbonara, stored in a heat proof thermos (we like these), are some of their favorites. Yet, I don’t always have left overs and needed to come up with a few foods that I could make in advance and store in the freezer.
Oven baked chicken tenders, pesto, and one of our new favorites; gluten free mini corn dogs are the perfect solution. Using Shauna’s recipe as inspiration, turning a treat limited to an Amusement Park binge has become a weekly favorite. By cutting the hot dogs (organic, grass fed, casein free, gluten free) into quarters, I can get 30 to 40 pieces in one batch. Flash freezing them on parchment lined baking sheets (after they are cooked), and then stored in freezer safe containers, helps make packing the lunch box an organized event.
As they leave the house in the morning, with their lunch boxes packed to the brim, I feel as though I have done my job. Most of the time all of the food is consumed. Why is it then, that upon pick up, the first thing out of their mouths is, “I’m starving, what’s for snack”? Do you think it’s appropriate to add short order cook to my resume?
Gluten Free Mini Corn Dogs
40 – 8″ wooden skewers
105 grams whole grain flour mixture*
120 grams gluten free cornmeal
2 Tbsp. sucanat or organic, whole sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
1/8 tsp. fresh, ground pepper
3/4 (184 grams) cup whole milk
1 organic, large egg
8 hot dogs (We like Applegate Farms)
Peanut oil for frying
• cut each hot dog in the fourths.
• skewer each mini hot dog and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. when all the hot dogs are skewered, place in freezer while the oil heats up and you make the batter.
• in a small dutch oven, heat oil to 360*(I use this thermometer).
• while oil is heating, line a rimmed baking sheet with a heavy layer of paper towels. place close to the dutch oven
• in a small mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients.
• add the milk and the egg and whisk until combined.
• dip hot dog in batter, covering completely.
• drop the entire hot dog and part of the skewer into the hot oil. add another hot dog (I did 4 at a time), but avoid crowding the pan(it will lower the oil temperature which will cause the outside to cook faster than the inside).
• fry until the corn dogs start to brown and the batter firms up (about 3-5 minutes).
• using a pair of heavy duty tongs, remove the corn dog and place on the prepared paper towels.
• eat a few as a snack and place the rest on a parchment lined baking sheet. flash freeze all the leftovers. once frozen, place in a freezer safe container with a tight fitting lid. When ready to use, place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes or until warmed through.
* this gluten free whole grain flour mixture is also really good for coating chicken, making bechamel sauce, thickening sauces for stews and gravy’s, and so much more.
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com