in the kitchen with: matt armendariz’s stick food


As the weather warms up, the idea of entertaining outdoors has driven me to look for quick and easy recipes to throw together almost on a whim, but certainly without fuss. Food photographer Matt Armendariz hit the nail on the head with his new book, Food on a Stick, which was released just a few days ago. Today’s recipes for Corn Dogs and Mojito Melons are excerpts from his book. I’ve always wanted to make corn dogs at home, and I’ve always wanted an excuse to call a mojito healthy. Stay tuned later today for your chance to win a copy of Matt’s must-have food book of the summer! — Kristina

About Matt: Matt Armendariz is a Los Angeles-based food photographer and author of the blog Matt Bites. An avid traveler, writer and photographer, Matt’s work has been seen in Coastal Living, Time Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, the Food Network, and the Cooking Channel’s Devour the Blog, to name a few. He has also appeared on Food(ography) and the Martha Stewart Show, and has judged auditions for MasterChef. Matt Bites was selected as one of the top food blogs in the world by Times Online and most recently as one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorites. Matt teaches food photography and food-styling workshops at his studio in Long Beach, California, with his partner, Adam C. Pearson.

CLICK HERE for both recipes after the jump!

Corn Dogs
Serves 4

Oh corn dogs, be still my heart. I could easily devote every single page in this book to the corn dog, but something tells me you’d either get tired of it, or my editor would pull me aside to have a talk. At any rate, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a bad corn dog. It is the quintessential food on a stick and highly versatile — substituting sausages or veggie dogs for standard wieners. The options are endless.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2  tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 jumbo hot dogs
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 wooden skewers
  • ketchup and yellow mustard, for serving

Instructions

1. Preheat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.

2. Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir in milk and egg and whisk gently until fully combined.

3. Once the oil reaches 360ºF, thread hot dogs onto skewers. Dip each in batter, rolling until fully coated, and quickly drop entire stick into oil. Fry two at a time for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining corn dogs. Serve warm, accompanied by ketchup and mustard.

Tip: For veggie dogs, replace egg with 1/4 cup Egg Beaters and substitute whole milk with almond milk.

Why Matt Chose This Recipe
If I had my way, everyone on the planet would eat corn dogs every other day while I ate them three times a day. Okay, maybe I’d eat a green salad somewhere in there, but really, I could eat them all the time. Fortunately for my health, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like a little deep-fried goodness on occasion. And corn dogs are the perfect food — easy to eat on the go, salty, crunchy, savory and able to showcase just about any condiment you like. While I love the classic mustard or ketchup on top of mine, I’m always down for experimenting with other things like spicy Sriracha mayo or sweet chili dipping sauce.

Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers with Mojito Mix
Serves 4

Fruit on a stick is fun for the grown-up set! The minty-sweet taste of a mojito makes a tasty dressing for cool honeydew melon. This recipe is a favorite at summer parties.

Ingredients

  • 8 pop sticks
  • 1/2 honeydew melon, cut into 8 wedges

Mojito Mix Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 5 sprigs mint
  • 3/4 cup white rum

Instructions

1. Arrange melon wedges in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.

2. Make the mojito mix: Place all ingredients plus 1/2 cup water in a blender and pulse until mint is finely chopped. Pour the mixture over melon wedges and refrigerate 1 hour.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pierce each melon wedge with a pop stick, and arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet. Freeze 20 to 30 minutes. Serve cold.

Why Matt Chose This Recipe
I love the Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers because the prep can be done ahead of time, and then they can come out of the freezer when ready. That leaves you plenty of time to enjoy with your guests, and they’re a great way to end a fun summer BBQ. I find that they taste better if you make them while drinking an actual mojito. Or two.


  1. Yvette says:

    I soooo love Matt and his photography – I’m a HUGE fan! This FUN and playful book is such a genius idea and totally matches his personality! My daughter (8 years old) keeps checking the mailbox looking for the cookbook to arrive. She said, if Matt says it’s okay to eat corndogs, then we need to make them. LOL!

  2. Casey says:

    Mmmm, corndogs! And mojitos are one of my favorite drinks – I can’t wait to try the melon pops! I’m planning my housewarming party and I think those might be perfect for my guests on a sunny afternoon. The cookbook sounds like so much fun. I’m thinking I might have to buy a few as gifts.

  3. a says:

    look delicious! i’m always so terrified of deep frying though. especially in a rental property. i’d hate to be responsible for an oil fire that takes down the whole building.

    melons it is.

  4. So excited for Matt and the new book. His blog was one of the first food blogs I started following due to his GORGEOUS photos and breezey writing. I love that the recipes. and the theme of this book, reflect his fun-loving personality. I mean please, who doesn’t love corn dogs? Thanks for the post Grace & Kristina.

  5. Cara says:

    Amazing! I wish someone would make those for me.

  6. Suzanne says:

    “”Dip each in butter””

    Best typo ever!

  7. Katie says:

    Seconding a–the thought of deep-frying at home has me a little freaked out, especially now that I cook on a gas stove. But that closes off so many delicious possibilities, including those amazing-looking corn dogs! Does anyone have any safety tips?

  8. Laurie R. says:

    I think my favorite street food experience was a July day in Cambridge, England. I was at the market and saw an ice cream cart. It wasn’t like the ice cream trucks here with the prepackaged ice pops and cones. This was an old school ice cream cart. You chose what type of cone you wanted and one or two of the six to eight flavors of ice cream. I chose strawberry. To top it off, you could add a Cadbury Flake (a flaky stick of Cadbury chocolate awesomeness) to top off your cone. It was so simple but wonderful!

  9. Peaches says:

    Thank you. No, seriously, Thank you.
    Food on a stick is the best!

  10. Kristina says:

    @ Katie and a: As long as you use your thermometer and do NOT leave your pot unattended, you should be fine. And be gentle. In other words, don’t THROW stuff in. The pot should not be boiling like a volcano, so you will be able to control it.

    Keep proper materials on hand to put out a grease fire (NO WATER!).

    But I am pretty sure you won’t mess it up.

    An alternative is to get a fry baby…

    @Laurie R- Thank you! But you’ve posted your comment to the wrong thread…! Please move it to the giveaway post!

  11. Katie says:

    Thanks for the advice, Kristina. I’m off to look for a fire extinguisher!

  12. Heidi says:

    Definitely making those skewers! I might try pina-colada pineapple skewers, too!

  13. Anna says:

    My current favorite street food is Garbanzo bean and rice samosas. When I was a kid, my friend and I used to walk a couple of miles into town and eat corn dogs at our “Woolco” store. I’ve never seen a recipe for them. Thanks for sharing. Your book sound like it has a few guilty pleasures in it. Yum!

  14. Those skewers are KILLER! Thanks a bunch~

    Heidi

  15. Aimee says:

    Just made the corndogs – YUM-MY! Had a little difficulty getting the batter smeared onto the dog, but they are well worth the effort! Oh, and I have a mini-Fry Daddy which doesn’t splatter at all.

  16. Nikki says:

    oooh my favourite street food by far is the delicious organic doughnuts from the Byron Bay markets in Australia. they’re huge, sweet, warm, soft morsels of joy!

  17. Mae says:

    lol nice photo with the banana peel. I like this stick idea.

  18. Laura says:

    Egg Beaters is not s vegan option — it contains eggs. I wonder if Ener-G Egg Replacer would work?

  19. Jenni says:

    Awesome!

    Agreed with Laura, though — Egg Beaters are not vegan, because they’re basically just egg whites. Ener-G Egg Replacer would work for this recipe, though.

  20. Kristy says:

    Thanks for sharing the corn dog recipe. I’m adding this link to a post with Recipelionblog.com.

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