Monday, April 29, 2013

Mini Corn Dog Bites (Gluten Free)

Carnival food…not exactly how I would describe how my family eats, but a fun way to jazz up a meal. Plus, I love the challenge of making really unhealthy foods a wee bit more healthful.

Corn dogs are not at the top of any “healthy foods” list, but I have a theory that kids like to eat things on a stick. Popsicles, lollipops, and yes, corn dogs. There is an inherent thrill in eating off of a stick.

Throwing potential eye hazards aside, I came up with a fun way to make miniature “corn dogs” for lunch or dinner for your family. Basically you use a thickened corn bread batter and dip little pieces of sausage or hot dog in the batter and bake them in a mini-muffin tin. It was fun to make and even more fun to eat.

A tip if you do try this recipe: pop the corn bread mixture into the fridge for 10-15 minutes before you intend to dip your sausage in it, as it helps firm up the mixture and makes it easier to stay on the “dog.” 

Another tip:  preheat the oven with the mini-muffin tin in the oven, so that it is hot when you put the mini-corn dogs in the pan. This makes them brown nicely on the bottom.

Mini Corn Dog Bites (Gluten-Free)

2/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup gluten-free flour (whole wheat or all-purpose is fine if you don't need it to be gluten-free)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 cup milk (can use soy, rice or almond if you need it to be dairy-free)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2-3 pre-cooked sausages or hot dogs, preferably nitrate-free
Cooking spray
24 toothpicks

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the mini-muffin tin in the oven to warm.

Prepare the batter: In a medium bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, onion powder and ground pepper. In a small bowl mix the milk, eggs and oil. Pour the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and mix until just combined. Pop the bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut each sausage or hot dog into 8-12 slices, or about ½ inch slices. Place a toothpick in each piece.

Remove the mini-muffin tin from the oven and dip each sausage in the batter, using a spoon to coat each piece, if necessary.

Place immediately into the pan. Repeat until the pan is full.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the corn dog bites are slightly browned.

Makes 24 bites.

Life is sweet,

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