What a fun weekend! The days have been sunny and that just makes your heart feel good, doesn’t it? Though it’s been chilly and windy, I’ll take the bright sunshine over dreary winter any day! The yard is getting spruced up, the ducks have returned and are squawking and squabbling over “summer rental space”, and even the birds, squirrels and chipmunks have been flittering and hopping around enjoying the onset of spring! I even saw two butterflies yesterday! 😀
So I was definitely in the mood to just have some fun! Something to just relax with, and enjoy experimenting and piddling around with, without any stress and fully enjoy playing in the kitchen on a sunny, spring Saturday afternoon! 😉 It doesn’t get much better than that!
So anyways, I wanted to use up some hot dogs I had been hoarding in the garage fridge/freezer and was longing for a good, old-fashioned, fair-style corn dog homemade! I hadn’t made them in years, and it’s one of my favorite summertime treats! So I thought I’d better brush up on my “corn dog skills”!
I quickly decided though, that I didn’t want just regular ol’ corn dogs…when you aren’t surrounded by all the excitement and bright lights of a carnival or fair, they seem to lack a little magic, you know?
So I came up with two ideas that I though would add a little fun back in! The first one is this one! I love spicy hot, but the hubs, not so much. So since it was just the two of us anyways, I simply divided the batter in half after adding in some Ranch flavor, and from there I added goodies that we’d each personally enjoy!
Worked out beautifully! So if you have some that like “this”, and some that like “that” in your house, too, you’ll appreciate this! 😉
I wasn’t a bit worried about things not going as well together as I had in my mind, and just went for it. I mean, seriously, it’s just hot dogs and a few inexpensive staples, right? If worst came to worst….I’d simply order a pizza and chalk it up as a “don’t EVER do this again” experiment! 😉
But luckily, that didn’t happen and everything worked out just as planned – – only even better than I had imagined! These absolutely ROCKED! An all-beef, juicy hot dog enveloped in a soft, warm, blanket of jalapeño and Ranch corn bread! I mean, what’s not to love, right? 😀
I used fresh, finely chopped jalapeños, but you could probably sub canned chopped green chilies without any problems. A whole can would probably do a double batch no problem! But since I had some on hand, in they went!
Since I wanted a little onion flavor as well, and didn’t see the point in finely mincing up a tad of an onion, I opted for dried minced and that worked perfectly! The flavor combination was wonderful and nothing was overpowering or too spicy from the peppers, either! Just right!
Lastly, I wanted a bit more than just a squiggle of mustard down the side, so I went down the same path and made up a quick Chipotle Ranch Sauce for dipping! SO much fun!
So, if you’re longing for some good old-fashioned fun, “Step right up and get your corn dogs here! Make ’em homemade, and everybody’s a winner!” 😉 My second concoction will be coming soon! Hope you have a sunny, warm, spring day! 😀
SPICY JALAPEÑO RANCH CORN DOGS with CHIPOTLE RANCH DIPPING SAUCE
Makes 8 Corn Dogs
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal, *I always use Indian Head Old Fashioned Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal as it seems to have a finer grind
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl. baking powder
1 Tbl. dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, *see easy sub below if none on hand
1 Tbl. vegetable oil
1/2 Tbl. honey
2 large jalapeños cleaned out and finely minced, (or 2 rounded Tbl.)
1 tsp. dried minced onion
8 bamboo skewers, trimmed to size if necessary
8 hot dogs patted dry and lightly dusted with flour or cornstarch, I used Nathan’s All-Beef but any kind will work
lots of oil for frying
Chipotle Ranch Sauce:
1 cup prepared (out of the bottle) Ranch Salad Dressing
2 Tbl. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, about half sauce and half chopped up pepper, (for mild to medium-heat, add more for a hotter sauce)
In tall, medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients well. (First 5 ingredients.) Add beaten egg, buttermilk, oil, honey, jalapeños and minced onion. Set aside.
In large deep frying pan, pour oil into pan until about 1 1/2 – 2″ deep and no more than 2″ from the top. Heat over medium heat. *Do not get oil too hot!
While oil is heating, push skewers up through center of dogs leaving a small amount at the bottom to hold. Sprinkle lightly with flour or cornstarch (both work) and rub with hands to lightly coat. (*This keeps the batter from sliding off.)
In small bowl, mix Chipotle Ranch Sauce ingredients and set aside.
When oil is hot, test by dropping a tiny amount of batter into pan. It should rise to the top and sizzle but not not fiercely and should not turn brown instantly. If it does your oil is too hot and you’ll need to turn it down. *On my cooktop, I found that keeping the heat right at medium-low was perfect, but all pans and stoves are different. Coat one dog well by dunking and spooning batter over and then quickly and gently place into oil. It should rise to the top and gently fry. Spin to keep coating even. If it looks like the oil is ok, add another. Don’t cook too many at once! I only did two at a time. Fry for 4-5 minutes until deep golden, turning to brown all sides. Remove with a large slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined rack placed over a baking sheet. Continue frying the rest adjusting heat as needed.
No need to place into an oven to keep warm, as they stay hot for quite awhile, but you can if you’d like. Serve hot with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce.
*Buttermilk substitute: Add 2 Tbl. apple cider vinegar to a glass measuring pitcher. Fill the rest of the way up to 1 1/2 cups. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. Stir and use. Lemon juice and regular vinegar also work just fine.
**Variation: Cut hot dogs into 2″ pieces and skewer with toothpicks making appetizer or kid-sized corn “puppies”! Fry the same as usual.