MAKES: 8 CORN DOGS ACTIVE TIME:15 MIN START TO FINISH: 45 MIN
8 hot dogs
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
About 8 cups vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cayenne 2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
EQUIPMENT: a grill pan; 8 wooden ice-pop sticks; a deep-fat thermometer.
Oil grill pan, then grill hot dogs over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly, then insert a wooden stick into each hot dog. Put 3 Tbsp flour on another plate and roll hot dogs in flour to coat, shaking off excess. Heat 3 inches oil to 350°F in a deep 3-qt heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal, remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, cayenne, and 3/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk.
Transfer some of batter to a tall glass, filling it almost to the top.
Working in batches of 2 or 3, dip hot dogs, 1 at a time, into glass of batter to coat (add more batter to glass if necessary), then fry, turning occasionally, until batter is cooked through and golden-brown all over, about 3 minutes. Transfer corn dogs to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F and refill glass with batter between batches.
1 tablespoon Jamaica ginger, ground (regular ground ginger will work)
2 cups buttermilk
2 2 ½- 3 lb. chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
Vegetable oil, canola oil or peanut oil for frying
Directions: Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Set aside.
Put chicken and buttermilk in two large plastic Ziploc bags or a flat dish and marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, turning every 30 minutes. This tenderizes the meat as well as removes any blood.
When ready to cook, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk, shake off excess liquid. Toss with dry ingredients. The chicken should be lightly covered, but it’s okay if there are a few missed spots. You can also shake chicken with the dry ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.
Heat oil to 325-350 degrees.
Fill a large, heavy bottomed skillet or deep pot with enough oil to cover halfway up the largest piece of chicken. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, wait for small bubbles to form.
Adjust heat so the oil bubbles are steady but not too rapid. Working in two or more batches, place the coated chicken in the hot oil.
After about eight minutes, the chicken will be golden brown underneath. Turn over once and cook for an additional eight minutes or until nicely browned on both sides. The cooking process will agitate the pieces slightly, so you don’t need to shift them around in the pan.
After frying, place chicken on a metal sheet tray covered in a paper towel and transfer to 200-degree oven to keep warm until serving. The chicken will stay moist for up to an hour.
1 tablespoon orange blossom or rose water* (optional)
1 16-ounce package phyllo dough
1 1/4 cups butter, melted
1 1/2 cup pistachios or walnuts, coarsely ground
Add water, sugar and honey to medium-sized sauce pan and bring the mixture to boil over medium heat. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and optional orange blossom or rose water* and turn the heat off. Allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and side of a 9 x 13–inch dish. Phyllo dough comes in a package containing two smaller stacks. Each stack contains 20 sheets. Open only one package at a time, as the sheets tend to dry out. Lay two sheets inside the baking dish. Spread one tablespoon of butter on top of the two sheets of phyllo. Stack two more sheets onto the buttered sheets followed by another tablespoon of butter. Repeat until you’ve used up 12 sheets. Spread an even layer of ground pistachios or walnuts on top of the twelfth layer. Using either pistachios or walnuts is up to you, however do not mix both. Brush the top of the nuts with butter. Repeat the process with another 10 layers and a tablespoon of butter every two sheets. Using a sharp knife cut the baklava into squares to get 24 pieces. However, don’t cut all the way down, only cut halfway until you reach the nuts. This will ensure only the top part rises. Bake for 25 minutes at 375F, then turn the oven down to 325F and bake for another 30 minutes. Take the baklava out and leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes. Using a knife, re-cut the baklava all the way down. With a tablespoon pour the lukewarm syrup evenly along the cut lines. Make sure not to pour it all over, only between the lines. Garnish with nuts. Allow the baklava to rest for at least four hours before serving. The syrup should be completely absorbed. Do not refrigerate.
Orange blossom and rose water are liquids distilled from certain flowers that are used in an array of Middle Eastern desserts. Although they are not crucial to the recipe, they do add an interesting flavor. Try your local ethnic or Middle Eastern store, or order a bottle online.
Baklava is a traditional Oriental dessert many ethnic groups have claimed as their own throughout the centuries, from the Middle East to Greece to Turkey. Although the origins remain contested, one thing is certain: Nothing beats homemade baklava.
This recipe has been around for generations and is passed on from mother to daughter with great pride and secrecy, like a sacred text. Much to the probable dismay of my ancestors, I’m letting you in on our secret. Don’t be intimidated by the dish’s many steps, it’s surprisingly simple. This recipe is pretty close to foolproof and downright delicious.
Preparation: Place the yeast and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon flour and the sugar. Mix well and set aside for about 5 minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the remaining flour and salt. Add the 2 eggs, butter, milk and honey. Blend ingredients thoroughly. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if the dough seems too sticky. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough, knead briefly and let rise again for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9” loaf pan. Place the dough inside the pan. Let rise for another 30 minutes. Brush the surface of the bread with the beaten egg. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and well risen. Makes one loaf