A hot dog on a stick dipped in corn batter, wrapped in bacon then dragged through a dip sounds way more civilized than folding a hat in half and wearing it sideways on my head. (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)
Baseball brings out the serious and silly in all of us. From Opening Day to the championships and ultimate World Series, we follow our teams and participate in whatever it takes to help our boys bring a title home ó I mean, how many times have you done the wave?
The Detroit Tigersí most-recent nemesis, the Boston Red Sox, have reverted to growing beards ala Duck Dynasty as their talisman. But the Tigers are keeping their cool and mostly clean shaven, relying on smart strategies and talent to put men on base and keep the Kís at bay. Meanwhile the fans in the stands fold their caps in half rally-style to bring on a hit and swing colorful towels to distract the opposing pitcher.
Itís a long season to be sure, and when we get to the October wind-up we look for new ways to pitch a party.
Iíve thought of so many party favorites over the past several years, including peanuts and popcorn cookies and Cracker Jacks mixed with M&Ms and dried fruit for nervous munching. Hot dogs and beer? Of course. But this year Iím getting a little fan-atical myself and turning those dogs into tiger tails by making bacon-wrapped corn dogs served with a blue cheese or honey mustard dip.
I donít know which part of that makes me a baseball nut or a cooking kook, but a hot dog on a stick dipped in corn batter, wrapped in bacon then dragged through a dip sounds way more civilized than folding a hat in half and wearing it sideways on my head.
Iíll keep the towel handy, though ó not to swing at the pitcher, but to wipe up the inevitable drips.
Bacon-Wrapped Corndog Tiger Tails with Sauce
Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
1 cup all-purpose flour
2⁄3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 Ĺ teaspoons baking powder
Ĺ teaspoon dry mustard
1⁄4-7⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
ĺ cup milk
ľ cup blue cheese
12 slices pre-cooked bacon
Oil for deep fat frying
6 jumbo beef franks, cut in half crosswise
12 6-inchwooden skewers
Honey mustard or mustard
Blue Cheese Dip (optional; recipe follows)
In large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, dry mustard and salt. Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a blender combine milk, blue cheese and egg; cover and blend until almost smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture along with bacon; mix well. (Batter will be thick.)
Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat to 365 degrees. Insert skewers into ends of franks. Holding onto skewers, hold franks over bowl of cornmeal mixture. Spoon cornmeal mixture on franks and slightly spread to completely cover. Place coated franks, 3 or 4 at a time, on their sides in hot oil. Turn franks with tongs after about 10 seconds of cooking to prevent batter from sliding off. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until golden brown, turning to brown evenly. Remove and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and wrap with cooked bacon, return to oil for a few seconds to set the bacon, remove once again and drain. Serve warm with honey mustard and/or Blue Cheese Dip. Makes 12 appetizer corn dogs.
Blue Cheese Dip
2⁄3 cup mayonnaise
ľ cup sour cream
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine ingredients in medium bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Per serving: 259 calories; 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 52 percent calories from fat); 23 g carbohydrates; 49 mg cholesterol; 564 mg sodium; 9 g protein; 1 g fiber.