making homemade corn dogs & pepperoni nuggets

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One of our astute readers sent us a link to a funny and informative video (big props to Rurouni Kenneth), and it spawned some research and experimentation by the infamous Buffet o’ Blog Research & Development (R&D) department.  But first, let’s discuss the video.  You may not be into cooking shows, but this episode of “Good Eats” is called “The Man Food Show”.  It’s not about how to make your food pretty or different ways to steam vegetables.  (There’s plenty of that on TV!)  This episode is about man food.  And it’s presented FOR men BY a man.  It’s about homemade corn dogs and mini-burgers.  Alton Brown wants to help guys develop their “man food skills”.  So check it out.

BTW, even if you don’t want to watch it all, check out the beginning, where he asks women to leave the room so he can talk to just the guys.  (Obviously, any women reading this should stop playback and/or leave the room when he says so.  If you don’t follow instructions, bad things may happen.)

In part 2 he explains the technique for keeping the grease at the right temperature, and how doing so will prevent the food from becoming greasy (and thus extra fattening) despite being deep-fried.  He even uses a football illustration to make his point.  (If only cooking involved more physical contact…)

Alton Brown, the host, claims these are the best corn dogs in the world.  That’s quite the claim, and it seems unsubstantiated without our own taste test.  So one of our researchers made the corn dog mix and brought it to our meeting last night.  In the interest of full disclosure, his mixture was lacking the jalapenos, onions, and corn, only because those things weren’t readily available.  And he used regular milk instead of buttermilk.  So our recipe was different, and some manual adjustments were necessary to obtain the proper consistency.   But regardless of all that, it turned out very good.  Was it the best ever?  Perhaps.  I would definitely eat them again, to get a larger sample set.  🙂

Our corn dogs had a lot of flavor, and the hot dog part stayed juicy.  So it was really good.  The only drawback was that there weren’t enough of them.  In case you aren’t a statistician, you need a large sample set to reduce standard deviation and aberration within the results.   Or in plain everyday language, you need a lot of samples, which in this study is food.  So once we ran out of hot dogs, we took some turkey pepperoni from the fridge, ran it through the two-stage batter process, and tossed ’em in the deep fryer.   This in turn created pepperoni nuggets.  I don’t know what you would expect from them, but they were quite delicious.  (Next time we’ll put two pepperoni slices per nugget, to better balance flavor.)

We’ve now had several food research sessions (see Buffet o’ Bacon 1 and 2 and chocolate-covered bacon on a stick), and they’ve all been a great time, with new discoveries.  We’ve taken food beyond its normal frontier and boundaries.  We’ve invented several new dishes, and we’ve got a lot more ideas to try in the future.  We’d like to open a restaurant, but that’s just not in the budget at this time.  Perhaps we should start charging admission to our food research expeditions.  🙂

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