Corndogs are not exactly prolific in South Africa nor are they celebrated which I feel is a grave transgression. The only “corndog” I’ve ever had here was a bar-one corndog. Don’t get me wrong, it is every bit as ridiculously and grossly amazing as you would imagine but it leaves me asking, “Where did the corndog go?”.
With the fantastic maize we produce, we really have the capacity to transform this greasy carnival food into a gourmet bed of delicious, crisp and crunchy batter. While corn dogs are traditionally made with superfine cornmeal vis-à-vis polenta, this batter embraces the best of corn dog tradition which incorporating the delicious rustic flavour of our own maize. This recipe is really about seeing what you can do with two ingredients people don’t really incorporate into their cooking: the ever-present Bulgarian yoghurt and the seemingly-daunting polenta.
Corndogs really are one of my favourite foods and there is no longer an excuse for everyone to not indulge in the same. It’s like eating a hot dog on a stick but with this special kind of bread roll that won’t disintegrate if you add too much mustard. Yup, you can throw all the laws of good sandwich making out the window, pile on that whole grain mustard and indulge in this super quick corn dog creation.
Don’t forget that you can adapt this recipe to make all of the disturbing yet enticing things traditionally found at carnivals and funfairs. Say hello to your easy deep-fried Oreos or adapt it as a corn-based tempura batter that requires no fermenting.
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
½ cup polenta
½ cup maize meal
¾ cup Bulgarian yoghurt
¼ cup milk
10 viennas of your choice or really anything else
Pot with a diameter large enough to place half a Vienna in horizontally.
Enough vegetable oil to fill the aforementioned pot 2/3 full
Spoon with holes to drain the oil off
Or forego the above in favour of a deep fryer
Large Mixing bowl
10 skewers cut in half
Glass about the length of a Vienna
Plate topped with two sheets of paper towel
Yield: 20 reasonably sized corndogs. Please note that this recipe can be halved very easily and still yield deliciousness.
Step 1: Prep the Oil
Place your oil in the pot and onto a high heat. It is imperative that the oil is really hot (but not smoking!) when you are ready to cook the corndogs.
Step 2: Make the batter
Crack the eggs into the bowl and whisk together. Then add baking powder, polenta, flour and maize meal. Add half the yoghurt and mix together, carry on gradually adding the wet ingredients, alternating between half the remaining yoghurt and milk until the batter comes together. The consistency should be liquid enough that it falls of the spoon but still thick enough to leave a substantial peak on the spoon when dripped off.
Step 3: Coating the Corndogs
Pour the batter into your glass and skewer the vienna using your shortened sticks. A lot of people advocate dredging the viennas in cornflour before dipping but this batter sticks to the viennas without any added flour.
Check that the oil is hot enough by putting a drop of batter into the pot. If it rises to the top shortly after being dropped in, the oil is hot enough. Proceed to coat the viennas one at a time in the glass, topping up the batter where necessary.
The procedure to coat the viennas is as follows:
- Hold the skewer and dip the vienna into the batter until full submerged.
- Pull the vienna out and repeat ensuring that the place where the dog meets the skewer is fully coated with the batter.
- As you remove the dog for the last time, twist the skewer as you pull out the dog to ensure a smooth coating and top.
Step 4: Frying
As soon as a vienna is battered, place it immediate into the oil and cook until a light golden brown. Note that these corndogs will not become the dark brown of traditional corn dogs due to the maize meal. Once the corndog has reached golden brown, remove and place on plate to drain excess oil.
Fry the rest and serve up with wholegrain mustard, tomato sauce and anything else that takes your fancy.
Don’t forget to give us your verdict by either commenting below or posting a picture of your results on Twitter, Instagram with @bakedlawyer , #bakedLawyer. Good luck!
While you are still frying, you can place the already-cooked corndogs onto a baking sheet and leave them in an oven at 150°C to remain hot.
The addition of maize meal makes the corndogs crunchier than traditional corndogs, if you prefer the smoother variety, substitute out the maize meal for additional polenta.