Summer Fair Meal
A meal inspired by the food you get at a summer fair: corn dogs, slaw, and potato wedges.
This is not the healthiest meal I’ve ever pulled together, but with an exceedingly large bag of cornmeal in the cupboard (grocery order fail on my part) and some turkey hot dogs in the fridge, I figured I would give homemade corn dogs a try. With corn dogs as the main, I thought I would add sides that suit a summer county fair.
The corn dogs are a little involved, what with making the batter, heating the oil, and deep frying, so this is probably not a good meal for a weeknight. Think weekends instead.
THE VEGETABLE–COLE SLAW
You can grate your own ingredients or use pre-packaged coleslaw mix. I chose the latter to save time. For dressing, I used a traditional creamy vinaigrette recipe from Love & Lemons. I had 4 cups of coleslaw mix, the right amount for our family of four, so I cut this recipe in half.
Notes & Tweaks
- Even when cut in half, this recipe seems to make a fair bit. Start by adding half and tossing your coleslaw well to gauge whether you need more. I ended up using about 3/4 of the dressing on my 4 cups of slaw.
Find the recipe here: Coleslaw Dressing
THE MAIN–HOMEMADE CORN DOGS
You can find a lot of recipes for homemade corn dogs online. I have used recipes from Natasha’s Kitchen before and found them to be excellent. Since this was my first time making corn dogs, I wanted a site I had had good experiences with before. The extra instructions and tips here make this pretty much foolproof. I did exactly what she said and the corn dogs turned out perfectly.
Notes & Tweaks
- You need a thermometer with a clip (like a candy thermometer) to attach it to the side of the pot so you can monitor the temperature of the oil you are using to fry the corn dogs. It takes a bit of effort to do the frying and watch the temperature–at least it did for me–and the thermometer is essential.
- This recipe takes a lot of oil, but after it cools you can strain it and save it for use the next time you make corn dogs or anything else deep fried. Or you can use it to oil your barbecue grill, as my husband does.
- The recipe calls for fine cornmeal. Mine was cornmeal #120 and it seemed to work just fine.
Find the recipe here: Homemade Corn Dogs
THE SIDE–BAKED POTATO WEDGES
Potato wedges are super easy to make. Russets bake well but with their large size, I find them hard to cut into uniform shapes. I use Yukon gold or other yellow potatoes more often. And they don’t have to be wedges–cut them into any shape you like, as long as they are of uniform size.
Notes & Tweaks
- The smaller the potato, the shorter the cooking time, so if you cut the potatoes smaller, keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook.
- Mix up your seasonings if you like. Start with the basic recipe and add ground dried rosemary, chipotle seasoning, or granulated garlic to change up the flavour.
Find the recipe here: Baked Potato Wedges
- Dry your hot dogs first and let them sit on a paper towel while you get everything else ready. As the recipe says, they need to be dry. Letting them come closer to room temperature will also ensure they heat better while frying.
- Make your coleslaw first, then put it in the fridge. This will allow the flavours to meld while you prepare the rest of the meal. Depending on the size of your potatoes, you can put them in before you make the coleslaw or after you finish the batter. The batter can sit for a bit, so if it’s done and your oil isn’t ready, don’t worry.
- Allow at least 15 minutes to bring the oil to the right temperature.
- After frying the corn dogs, let them cool a bit on a wire rack, as suggested in the recipe. They will be quite hot so a little cooling is important. I served them with a drizzle of mustard, but you can also serve with ketchup or honey mustard sauce to dip, or any other kind of dip that goes with hot dogs.
- Whip up a little chipotle mayo for your potato wedges if you like: just mix some chipotle sauce with mayonnaise, to taste. We love Lynch chipotle sauce, but any will do.