event planner and designer. The theme of the shower was Sweet and Savory, and the menu was filled with delectables that brought both sensations to the taste buds. I asked Amy to choose from a long list of ideas and she had some special requests as well. Months ago, she had brunch one of my favorite Portland restaurants - Screen Door. It is Southern comfort food at its best. One of their most popular items is a breakfast sausage corn dog, served dusted with powdered sugar and alongside a thick sorghum syrup. Well, Amy texted me from the restaurant. That dish pretty much blew her mind. She asked me to try to recreate it for her shower. Never one to miss an opportunity to fry something for someone I love, I immediately agreed. The results were completely satisfying. Tangy, sweet apricot breakfast sausages (from my favorite Seattle butcher shop, AJ Meats) dipped in a classic corn dog batter and served with dark maple syrup and a touch of spice. I served them up in individual little votive holders with the syrup in the bottom. Tres chic don't you think?
I know frying can be intimidating, but it doesn't need to be. I promise you its simpler than you imagine and so, so satisfying. You are guaranteed to please your guests and impress them a little bit too. I recommend a wide deep pot and a couple tools - a spider utensil (though you don't need it for this particular recipe) and a deep fry/candy thermometer. I find these helpful for other applications as well.
This same batter would be perfect for regular corn dogs as well, or cheesy hotdog (AJ Meats has some that will make you cry) corn dogs, or Brat corn dogs, or chicken dogs or pretty much any old thing you want to enrobe in crispy fried corn bread.
BREAKFAST SAUSAGE CORN DOGS WITH SPICED MAPLE SYRUP DIP
This makes 16 individual appetizers, plan on 2 per guest. You can also leave the sausage whole if you want a less cutesy portion.
8 apricot breakfast sausages (or whatever flavor you enjoy)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup milk
2 quarts of vegetable or other neutral oil, for frying
16 wooden skewers, about 8" long
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Prep sausages: Saute over medium high heat for 6 minutes, turning every 2 minutes, so they are nicely browned. They will not be cooked through, but that will finish during the fry. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then cut in half crosswise, making two short pieces. Skewer each through the center.
Maple syrup dip: Whisk together syrup and spices over low heat until just nicely warmed. Don't allow to boil.
Batter & Frying: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Then add the egg and milk and whisk till well incorporated but not much more. Pour oil into a wide deep pot. It should come up about 2 inches on the sides. Add less or more as needed. Turn burner on high and bring up to 360 degrees, then turn to medium. Now, you're ready to fry. Dip your sausages into the corn batter, swirling and dipping to make a nice even coat. Now drop into the hot oil very carefully, no more than 4 in the pan at any one time. Use tongs to roll the corn dogs to the other side after a minute or so, and then every 30-60 seconds, to ensure an even brown crust. Total cooking time is around 4 minutes. Watch your oil temperature and adjust heat as needed to maintain as close to 360 degrees as possible. Remove corn dogs and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before serving. You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven while you making the rest, if you wish.
Serve with spiced maple syrup and prepare for moans and eye rolls of delight!