The Chardonnay in a brut blend pairs well with the corn and the mustard, while the Pinot Noir builds bridges to the hot dog and the cranberry in the dip.
TIP: Make the Cranberry Mustard before you start the dogs.
1 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg
12 ounces thin hot dogs, each cut into 1 1/2-in. lengths
Cocktail picks or toothpicks
Cranberry Mustard (recipe follows)
How to Make It
Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add buttermilk, melted butter, and egg and stir just until incorporated.
Pour 1 1/2 in. oil into a frying pan and heat to about 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Dust hot dog pieces all over with cornstarch. Using a fork, dip each piece into batter to coat and drop into oil. Fry in batches, turning as needed, until golden brown all over, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined pan and keep warm in a 200° oven until all are done.
Push a cocktail pick into an end of each mini corn dog and serve warm with Cranberry Mustard.
Cranberry Mustard Boil 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice in a small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup. Mix with 3/4 cup Dijon mustard and 6 tbsp. packed light brown sugar. Makes 1 cup.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per piece without mustard.
In the end the result was good, but I found several problems with the technique. 1) I had a hard time getting the batter to stick to the dogs, even after coating in cornstarch. After a bit of online research I added the step of dredging them in egg white before the cornstarch, and lowered them quickly into the oil before the batter could slide off. 2) I found that scooping rather than piercing with the fork was better as the pierced dogs did not easily release into the oil. 3) The oil needed to be deeper in order for the batter not to fry up with a distorted shape from touching the bottom of the saucepan (a frying pan is not practical). 4) 350 degrees was just a bit too hot; I found 340-345 to be the ideal oil temperature. 5) The amount of batter was way too much. I used up a 1-lb. package of dogs cut into 1/3's, and still had plenty of batter leftover. I would make these again but this looked to be a simple and straightforward recipe and I was frustrated to find that it was not.
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