a note to begin: do not be mislead by the charming icon on the left, the expectant chef tasting a delicate consommé or reduction or whatever. what transpired today was an experiment of an entirely low brow nature, an experiment involving vegetarian hot dogs, thick beer spiked batter and a deep fryer from the 70's. what happened today was corndogs.
for me, major televised sporting events are an excuse to drink beer in the afternoon and eat funny food. when my hometown team wins, that's a great bonus! people will be nicer to one another on the street the next day and i'll have something to chit chat about with the regulars at work. sadly, today i drank no beer (i'm fighting an oncoming cold) and the home team lost, but funny food was still in full effect.
i've never made corndogs and i've never used the deep fryer my mom gave me (out of her basement, i think?) a few summers ago. that's why this whole endeavor counts as a culinary experiment, even though cheffy up there in the corner would surely scoff (or, as the french say, escoffier) at such a notion. but the way i see it, every food - trashy or high falutin - has its day. and football is a lot like a hot dog: a symbol of the good parts of americana (simplicity, non-pretension, commitment to pleasure) and the bad parts, too (commodification of pleasure, convenience over health, machismo). but i digress: the point, friends is that ryan and i made vegan corndogs today and, dammit, they were good.
first, the batter: equal parts flour (we used whole wheat which kind of made us feel better about the negative nutritional value of these suckers) and corn meal, generous pinches of salt, sugar and cayenne, and big splashes of soy milk (plain vitasoy) and beer (schmidt's). we made the batter pretty thin - after all, the goal is a nice, crispy coating, not a sheath of corn bread. we cut two packs of veegs doggies in halves, so there would be more to go around at the sports watching get together. sharing is key, dudes. the halves were rolled in some cornstarch:
then, we fired up the deep fryer. because of his restaurant experiences, ryan was way more comfortable with the fryer than me, so i let him take over that very integral part of the process. we first used a vegetable oil and olive oil blend (b/c we were low on veg oil), but it wasn't really getting hot enough so i ran out to the market to buy more veg oil. it takes a disgusting amount of oil to deep fry - try not to think about it. so with 100% vegetable oil, we really got that baby going.
in the above photo, there are too many doggies in the stew. we quickly learned that the dogs like to stick to each other and must be limited to three at a time. it's time consuming but worth it when they started to come out perfectly. we made a big batch of the corndogs, a hand full of onion rings and one lone jalapeno popper, and took it all over to the football friend get-down. and they were a hit! who doesn't love a battered hot dog, i mean really. shown below with some ketchup spiked with sriracha for dipping, wake up to your golden nugget junk food dreams.
p.s. another special thanks to ryan (master! snack master!) for really captaining this entire process.