This recipe is adapted from Jasper White's The Summer Shack Cookbook (to be published in 2007.) Start with a good hot dog: all-beef, natural casings, kosher or kosher-style. You will need 10, 8-inch wooden skewers, a large (12-inch or larger) skillet with high sides, a deep-frying thermometer or an electric deep fryer, a sheet pan and a pair of tongs. Because the entire dog-on-stick is about 10 inches long, the traditional Dutch oven or electric deep fryer won't work for this recipe. The whole corn dog, including the stick, needs to fit into the frying pan of hot oil.
Makes 10 corn dogs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced scallion or Spanish onion
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
10 beef hot dogs, 1 1/2 to 2 ounces (5 or 6 inches long)
Corn oil, canola oil or other vegetable oil for deep-frying (about 4 cups)
1 jar of your favorite mustard
Dill pickle spears
Combine the flour, corn meal, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl, whisk well and set aside.
Combine the scallion, egg and milk in a small bowl and whisk well.
Fold the dry ingredients gently into the wet. Do not over mix. Cover the batter and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a sheet pan with paper towels. Heat 2 inches of oil (about 4 cups) in a large, high-sided skillet to 350 degrees.
While the oil is heating, skewer each hot dog lengthwise through the center, stopping about 1 inch from the top. When the oil is hot, dip a hot dog into the batter, using the stick to twirl the dog and coat it evenly. It's easiest to dip if you either use a tall glass or a shallow, narrow pan so that you can stick the dog straight up and down or else roll it. I prefer the up-and-down method so you're not worrying about getting the stick covered in batter. A spoon is helpful throughout the process. Make sure the end of the hot dog is sealed, but try not to get too much batter on the stick. Once coated, remove the dog from the batter and twirl it once to let excess batter drip back into the bowl.
Holding the stick end, lower the corn dog into the oil, keeping it suspended about 5 seconds before letting go (this prevents the corn dog from sticking to the bottom of the pan). Dip and fry 2 more hot dogs (do not fry more than 3 or 4 dogs at a time.) Turn the dogs occasionally with tongs to make sure they cook evenly. Fry the dogs until the corn coating is a deep, rich brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Lift them out of the oil one at a time with tongs and transfer to the lined baking sheet and into the oven. Continue to dip and fry the remaining dogs, making sure to let the oil come back to 350 degrees between batches. (As you get near the end of the batter, you may need to spoon it over the dog to coat it evenly.) If you have any batter left over, drop it in spoonfuls into the hot fat and cook into until nice and brown for little fritters, then drain on a paper bag until cool and drizzle with maple syrup.
Serve the corn dogs hot with your favorite mustard and dill pickle spears.