Gluten free corn dogs are carnival food. And even though carnival food is not my family’s usual fare, warm weather brings it to mind. If I don’t tell you all the secrets to getting ’em right, maybe you’ll never again be able to experience the joy of freshly fried corn dogs. And that I cannot abide. So, like it or not, I’m giving you options. And gluten free corn dog secrets. Come to think of it, it’s kind of noble, don’t you think?
(Maybe noble was going too far for deep-fried processed meat. I get that. But just look at those dogs!)
By the way, if deep-frying offends you on principle alone, I get that. But remember that food fried in oil that is maintained at the proper temperature will not absorb much oil at all – in fact, it will absorb much less oil than if you were shallow frying. Oil at the proper temperature will quickly seal the very outside of the food and cook the inside by steaming it in the heat. That’s why foods with high moisture content fry well, and foods with low moisture content, well, don’t.
Here are the secrets to gluten free corn dog success: 1. Boil the hot dogs first. That way you don’t have to fry them for any longer than necessary to cook the batter. 2. Dry the cooked hot dogs really, really well before coating them in the batter. 3. Chill the batter in a juice glass before using it. 4. Place the hot dogs on the skewers after they’re fried. That way, you don’t need an enormous vat of frying oil just to be able to fry the whole thing.
Oh, and if you have any trouble finding bamboo skewers in the grocery store, check by the meat counter. They’re usually not far from there – and either way, the butcher will always know where they keep them!
Looking for more carnival food? How about gluten free churros? Hey, as long as you’re deep-frying, you may as well make the most of that oil.
1 egg (60 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature
8 gluten free hot dogs
Oil, for deep frying (I like a mix of equal parts shortening and vegetable oil)
8 bamboo skewers
In a small bowl, place the cornmeal, flour blend, sugar, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the egg and milk, and mix to combine well. Place the mixture in an 8-inch tall glass, and place the glass in the refrigerator.
Boil the hot dogs. Place 5 cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the hot dogs in the boiling water, cover, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow to sit for 7 minutes. Remove the hot dogs from the water and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Set the cooked hot dogs aside.
Place the frying oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottom saucepan, with a candy thermometer on the side (make sure the probe is in the liquid, and not resting on the bottom of the pan or you will not get an accurate reading). Bring the oil to 350°F over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat enough to maintain the temperature of the oil without allowing it to increase.
Remove the cornmeal mixture from the refrigerator, and mix to loosen it. Slowly immerse the hot dogs, one at a time, in the glass, removing slowly to allow the cornmeal to adhere to the hot dog. Place the coated hot dog in the frying oil and fry for about 2 minutes, rotating once during frying, or until the coating is uniformly deep golden brown. Remove the hot dog from the frying oil, and place on a paper towel to cool briefly. If desired, snip off any part of the hot dog that is not coated in the fried batter. As soon as the corn dog is cool enough to handle, insert a bamboo skewer about half way into the hot dog. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.
Serve immediately, or, crisp in a 300°F oven for about 5 minutes before serving.