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!
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.
- 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
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
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.
- 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
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.