Sit back and relax, this is gonna be a long one. But first, corn dogs.
The day began with a round of golf that never happened. For that I would like to say something to Pecan Valley Golf Course in Fort Worth. No one wants your rainchecks. Just give the money back if the golfing experience is not good after one hole. Thats all I have to say on that.
When Central Market announced that they would be having another Hatch Chile competition a couple weeks ago, we began brainstorming some recipes that would both be delicious and have not done before as that is sort of our deal. We don't like making things that have been made before. Still waiting on those butterfinger brisket royalties to come in.
Smokehopper would not be in town for this delicious endeavor, so I called another culinary contributor to the site and thankfully LSmoke was available. We talked and decided that the best way to win both the competition and a delicious Saturday would be to make homemade sausage corn dogs stuffed with Hatch Chiles. We won. The delicious Saturday part, not the Central Market deal. But thats ok. We don't need justification from places that do not even carry the supplies we need. Onto that portion of this raucous tale.
Here is an interesting fact that you need to know when making sausage for the first time....you need sausage casings to make sausage. This is a list of places in Fort Worth that do not currently sell sausage casings and have no plans to:
1) The Mexican meat store on Granbury road
2) The Supermercado on Hemphill
3) Central Market
6) and one other place that I can't remember
You can however find them at Academy of all places, so thanks Academy.
It should be noted that you should buy the hog sausage casings. They smell up the kitchen something fierce, but its worth it. This is what they look like in a bowl getting ready to soak for 30 minutes or so.
While they were soaking and making the kitchen smell mostly like a pigs insides, we started roasting the chiles. LSmoke has a badass KitchenAid convection broiler so this was a pretty easy process without having to fire up the grill just for some chiles.
Once the chiles were roasted and peeled, we put them in a large ziplock with a damp paper towel to help them peel. It worked. But sorry no pics. They should be blackened when you pull them out of the oven or off the grill. LSmoke has a sausage grinder and luckily has made his own sausage once before. He knows the ins and outs of his kitchen, but we still tried a couple of things. Here we go. This is all of the parts to a sausage grinder. Cleaned and oiled.
At the first Mexican meat market we were certain they had some kind of casings for the sausage in the back, but we decided to let sleeping dogs lie and picked up 3 pounds of pork meat instead.
As you can see, we have assembled the grinder and set it up. We figured out very quickly that it takes a lot of effort to grind sausage and it needs to be bolted down to something or you can add an hour or two to the process.
We changed up to a thicker cut of sausage and bolted the grinder down on the right side of a part of LSmoke's leftover fence. This way he was able to sit on the board and feed sausage into the grinder while I cranked. Worked out a lot better.
Once this task was completed in a little more time than we had planned it was time to prep the chiles. Like I said earlier the skin pretty much peels right off. We deseeded the chiles too, for the most part. We figured that sausage sometimes has a few seeds in it, so we left a few of them in. They didn't add or detract anything away from the dogs.
We sliced them up into smallish sqaures and added them to the meat.
I mixed it up with my hands. You have seen countless number of pictures of me mixing things with my hands before, so you don't need a picture of this process. LSmoke added a piece to the grinder and we were ready to start forcing the pork into the casing.
While the oil was heating up we began the batter for the dogs. Used the following in unmeasured amounts until we had a consistency that would stick to the outside of the dogs without running all over the place during the transfer from batter to skillet.
Sausages in the skillet cooking in oil. We figured that they needed to be cooked rather than just fried. We were right about this as it didn't take too long to fry them up.
Once the oil was at the right temp (350 degrees) we dropped these guys in. Carefully. Hot oil burns. See you have learned a couple new things today.
And for the finished product.
All in all, these were a great success. Making corn dogs from scratch is a relatively difficult and time consuming task, but it was more than worth it on a Saturday afternoon. Add Hatch Chiles to the equation and the greatness increases exponentially. We thought at one point that it would take only a couple of hours, but when it came down to it I would say it was closer to 3 or 3.5. Regardless, more than worth the time. The sausage turned out fantastic and the batter was not too sweet but rather served as a good compliment to the salty consistency of the sausage. I regret to inform you that some old man named Jimmy Dean has stolen my idea of breakfast sausage fried in pancake batter, but that is for another day and another time.
Try this out if you like. I think you will enjoy it. LSmoke, thanks for your hospitality and effort in getting this done.