Nick’s birthday was a few weeks ago, and as it fell on a Saturday when the horses were running at Vincennes, he wanted to get some people together for hot dogs and beer before heading out to the races. Since it was a special occasion, I wanted to do a little something extra, and I remembered that I read a post a while back about corn dogs, which I don’t even like, historically, but something about being in France makes me want fried things I don’t normally eat when I’m at home in the States.
Anyway, it was Nick’s special day, and he loved the idea. So corn dogs it was. I used Alton Brown’s recipe, with a couple of changes. I left out the jalapeño, and seeing as creamed corn doesn’t exist in France, I substituted regular canned corn, buzzed with the immersion blender.
I bought a huge pack of cheap wooden chopsticks at an Asian restaurant supply store to use as sticks, but since French hot dogs (aka Knacks) are so much thinner than their American counterparts (maybe because they don’t go frying themselves in corn batter?) I used only one stick per dog, instead of the recommended two.
I was actually surprised at how well this recipe worked. I don’t know why. But let me tell you, it was seriously awesome to pull real live corndogs out of the bubbling oil in the Dutch oven. And do you know what was even more awesome?
We had French’s yellow mustard to dunk them in. (Ah, irony.)
But I had some leftover batter, even after frying up 10 of those puppies. I thought it would be fun to go all classy with it – fold in some whipped egg whites and call it soufflé. Come to think of it, some Dijon mustard probably would have been pretty good in there, too.
Despite my greasing the ramekin (and the loaf pan – you’ll see in a minute), the soufflés didn’t rise all that much. Oh, well, it still tasted good – like cornbread, but lighter and moister.
In fact, one person to whom I served it immediately called it spoonbread. Maybe not the ultra-classy French dish I had in mind, but still a delicious side to roast chicken. Or curry potpie, if it happens to be a clean-out-the-fridge kind of dinner.
On this day in 2008: Mac N Cheese: A Classic French Dish
Originally published on Croque-Camille.