I have a guilty pleasure. Actually more than one but I’m only going to out myself with this: I have a thing for hot dogs. And I don’t even care if you scrunch up your nose and shout an audible ‘ewwwwww’ – it’s totally fine. I’ll just eat yours too. And for the record, I loved fried bologna sandwiches as a kid – mustard and ketchup on white bread – oh, and yes, please do add that slice of American cheese, unwrapped from the plastic and melted onto that fried bologna. Okay, so that makes two guilty pleasures I’ve confessed to.
Plain, sans the bun, dipped into a squirt of both ketchup and mustard, chili dogs, Rueben dogs dressed in sauerkraut and swiss cheese and topped with Thousand Island dressing, hot dogs served alongside a plate of macaroni and cheese – my love affair with hot dogs has a very long and sorid history. I even fed them to my toddler children – although I did peel away the casing because, ‘oh-my-gawd, don’t you know kids can choke to death on hot dogs?!’ They survived.
Yes I know hot dogs are made from the leftovers of not-so-appealing animal parts and yes, I know that hot dogs contain nitrates and other unhealthy ingredients but the lure of a good hot dog always trumped the reasonable part of my brain and I caved every time.
Fork in the Road was one of the sponsors at Big Traveling Potluck this past April and I have to say they’re a company after my own heart; not only do they produce fantastic sausage, hot dogs, deli meats and ribs, all Fork in the Road products are made using heritage meat raised on small farms. And those farmers also believe in treating their animals humanely – all-vegetarian diets and they’re never confined in crates or given antibiotics, growth enhancers or added hormones. One more added benefit? No nitrates.
The Professor and I were in California at the end of July and stopped in at a Whole Foods where there was a large display of Fork in the Road product – we seriously considered purchasing a suitcase to stock up and bring back home – for realz. One of the things we take seriously here at Smith Bites is that we never recommend products to our readers that we absolutely love and that we don’t/won’t purchase ourselves; when we find something we can really get behind, we want to share that with all of you.
Now who wants a guilt-free, gluten-free corn dog? I’m not ashamed to admit that when we made these, every. last. bite. was finished off – not one crumb left!
Disclosure: I am not being compensated for this post; however, Fork in the Road sent me free product. As always, all opinions are my own.
GLUTEN-FREE CORN DOG MINIS
Makes enough batter for approximately 20 mini dogs
- 1 quart of oil for frying
- 70 grams (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
- 70 grams (1/2 cup) cornstarch
- 106 grams (2/3 cup) gluten-free cornmeal
- 25 grams (2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 305 grams (1 1/4 cup) plain kefir or buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1, 12-ounce package Fork in the Road beef hot dogs (you’ll have leftovers)
- Gluten-free flour for coating
- toothpicks for skewering, optional
- Heat oil in a tall pan or deep fryer to 360 degrees; we used a 2-quart saucepan because it is deeper and requires less oil
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt; add the beaten egg, kefir and baking soda and mix until smooth
- Warm the hot dogs in the microwave for about 1 minute; pat dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch bites
- Lightly coat the hot dog bites with gluten-free flour; drop the hot dog bites into the corn batter and coat evenly
- Take out one bite at a time to deep fry, shaking off any excess batter
- Deep fry, rotating the bite in the oil – about 2-3 minutes or until a nice golden brown; drain on paper towels before serving