Sunday morning, J and I traveled down the mountain to the charming small town of Minden, located on the eastern slope of the Sierras.
Minden was hosting its annual Arts & Crafts Fair and our local greyhound group had a “meet & greet” booth at the fair. We volunteered our greyt boy to help out and represent the cause. The hounds greeted the public and lapped up the attention from the passersby.
While their humans answered questions about greyhounds and greyhound adoption. And why everybody should adopt or sponsor a greyhound.
Truthfully, we were just excited for O’Siris to see some fellow greyhounds again. They say that greyhounds are one of a few breeds that recognize their own kind and it seems to be true, at least for our boy. Except for the yellow lab down the street that O’Si is sweet on, greyhounds are the only dogs that our docile boy is immediately comfortable with.
Then, the rowdy girl showed up for her shift and began to “sing” for the boys. The others quickly joined in.
As for the rest of the fair, it was typical: artsy-craftsy home and yard decor, specialty “gourmet” sauces and the miracle skin cream/youth in a bottle promises. There was plenty of the typical fair food, too: funnel cakes (never had one), barbecued animal (ugh) and kettle corn. I tried two bites of the kettle corn (purchased by one of the greyt volunteers) and wondered why I used to like the stuff. Homemade caramel corn is SO much better (shameless plug here)!
I saw many corn dog wielding people walking by our booth, too. It pains me to admit it, but I once loved those hand-dipped and fried corn dogs that you could find every year at the county fair. I’m so ashamed. I’m sorry.
So, I had a renewed craving and an idea. I searched the web and found a fair-style corn dog recipe and I dug my “Twinkie” pan out of the back of the cupboard, and I got busy. The end result resembled a Twinkie more than the traditional corn dog, but they were delicious nonetheless (kids love them!). I barely managed to snap a picture of the Twinkie dogs before the sun went down, but you get the idea.
I used the regular size Lightlife Smart Dogs for this batch of corn dogs, because that was what I had on hand. The jumbo size Smart Dogs (or better yet, Tofurky or Field Roast sausages) would be a better fit for making corn dogs using the Twinkie pan method. And, of course, using less corn dog batter than I did so that the end result resembles a corn dog more and a Twinkie less. Lesson learned!
I served the corn dogs with organic ketchup and a quick agave mustard sauce (that is awesome with chick’n tenders, by the way): 1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 2 Tablespoons agave nectar and 1 Tablespoon molasses.
To atone for the fact that I was serving “carnie” food for dinner, I made a huge bowl of Garlicky Massaged Kale Salad to even things out. If you are a fan of the kale salads found in Whole Foods or Co-Op delis, you will love this salad. It’s so addictive – we have it at least two times a week here!
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Corn Twinkie Dogs
1 cup white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup organic yellow cornmeal
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
1-1/4 cups soy milk mixed with 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
EnerG egg replacer for 1 egg
6 to 8 vegan hot dogs or sausages
Wooden sticks (or bamboo skewers), optional
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the Twinkie pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, paprika and mustard. Set aside.
Stir in the melted coconut oil, then make a well in the center. Add the egg replacer and the “buttermilk”. Mix until the batter is smooth and well-blended.
Place about 1/4 cup of flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Ladle a small amount of the corn dog batter into the bottom of the prepared Twinkie pan (just enough to coat the bottom). Cut the hot dogs (or sausages) to fit the pan, if necessary. Roll the dogs in the flour to coat and place in the pan. Ladle more batter over the dogs, just enough to cover, and wipe off any excess batter.
Place the pan in the oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a lovely golden brown. Insert sticks in the corn dogs just before serving, if desired.
Note: it is possible to bake corn dogs without a Twinkie pan. Insert the sticks into the floured hot dogs (or sausages) and dip the dogs in the batter, coating well. Place the battered dogs on a prepared (non-stick spray or parchment paper) baking sheet and place in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and scoop any batter that has slid off the corn dogs back into place and return the pan to the oven for the remainder of the baking time. Repeat the process if necessary.
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O’Siris at the end of his meet & greet shift: all that work being charming for the public and socializing with the other hounds tires a boy out!