Friday, September 02, 2016

Puttin' on the Dogs: Corndog Casserole

I really like good hot dogs—the kind that are natural, uncured, and free of nitrates and nitrites, just like the bacon I've mentioned previously. Yes, they're on the expensive side, but they taste exactly the way a hot dog should taste: delicious! So if you happen to be feeding a crowd, make life easy and serve them in a casserole. It's no coincidence this is easy to transport, too:

Slice of Corndog Casserole

Corndog Casserole

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 Tablespoons honey
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Several grindings of black pepper
1 cup half and half (or whole milk)
8 hot dogs, chopped or cut into halves (natural, nitrate and nitrite free—local and organic if you can find them!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and honey together, then add eggs and stir. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, mustard, salt, rosemary, cheese and pepper. Stir half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, blend in the half and half, then add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan, then scatter or place hot dogs across the top, pressing in slightly. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly and serve with mustard, ketchup and relish—or whatever you like best with hot dogs!

Notes: Definitely include some kind of fresh herb in the mix, even if you don't have rosemary—chives or thyme would be excellent here, either on their own or in combination. For a more breakfast-themed casserole, substitute fully-cooked breakfast sausages for the hot dogs, and serve warm with real maple syrup.


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