Thursday, 1 January 2009

Eco Bro's veggie dogs end 2008 in style

Eco Bro hasn't lived in his native USA for over four years now, but every so often he expresses a weakness for some left-behind part of his youth. One of these is corn dogs, which are battered and deep fried sausages on sticks (isn't there a scene in There's Something About Mary where the main characters discuss the range of snacks you can get on sticks? I can't think of too many which have travelled over to this side of the Pond. Until now, that is). Eco Bro tried making them at home a while ago but Eco Sis was too repelled to discover that the batter was sweet rather than savoury for it to be altogether classed as a success. A bit of enforced tweaking later, however, and he was ready to launch his newly savoury corn dogs on the English veggie world.

Eco Sis goes crazy for naked veggie corn dogs

An opportunity for the grand unveiling presented itself in our new year's party - ten people, four of whom were veggie, three were committed carnivores, two were bona fide Yanks, and one only eats food that is beige. Luckily the corn dogs were beige enough. I've never deep-fried anything and was envisaging clouds of smoke enveloping the kitchen and grease dripping all over the place, but in fact the process was extremely clean and neatly done. The batter is a cornmeal-based mix of flour, egg, milk, salt, baking powder and sugar, which was thick enough to coat the already-be-sticked and cooked veggie sausages. The Ecos then formed a mini production line to batter each dog, dip it in a small pan of hot vegetable oil until it was crispy, and then lay it on some kitchen paper to mop up excess fat. The crowd was very impressed with their professionalism, and the dogs themselves were a complete winner. Everyone liked them, from veggies to beigies, and we were soon dipping them in ketchup and eating them as though we'd been supporting the Red Sox for years.

Eco Bro gives the corn dogs their batter coating

Dogs are fried in oil

Eco Bro's Veggie Corn Dogs (savoury version)

I'm not too sure where Eco Bro got his recipe from, but here's what he did:

Batter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour

Veggie sausages (Eco Bro used the frozen Tivall sausages sold under the Tesco label. He used two packs for this amount of batter)

BBQ skewers

Mix all the batter ingredients together - it will be quite thick.
Microwave frozen veggie sausages as per packet instructions. Use kitchen towel to dab off any excess oil or moisture.
Heat oil to a depth of about 4 inches in a small pan until it's boiling quite rapidly.
Stick each sausage on to a long BBQ skewer, and coat with batter - it should pretty much stay on the sausage
Hold each sausage in the oil until the batter is darkened and crisp. The size of the pan and number of helpers you have will dictate how many you can fit in the pan at one time.
Lay the battered corn dogs on kitchen towel to drain off excess oil.
Dip in ketchup and eat while singing the Star Spangled Banner. Or something.

3 comments:

Johanna said...

Scary scary scary! I share your wariness of deep frying (we had a well-remembered tv advert in my childhood where the woman talks on the phone too long and forgets she is deep frying chips and her kitchen burns down - it also happened to someone I know) and combined with hot dogs in batter - it is a very scary concept! But sounds like a fun activity for new year's!

Lysy said...

I don't think I'll be trying it myself but it was surprisingly unscary to watch in the end. Perhaps it was because they used such a little pan! They were certainly popular with our guests anwyay :)

Eco Sis said...

the oil was probably a little high up in the pan - which meant we delivered a bit of an oil coating to your hob and can verge on the dangerous side for people's fingers nearby...