Zucchini corn dogs from Watermelon & Red Birds, a cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations, by Nicole A. Taylor, make a deceptively healthy, indulgent snack. We love it with the corn crema for an explosion of summertime flavors.
Taylor writes, “My sophomore year at Clark Atlanta University, I was living in Brawley Hall, in a four-room suite complete with kitchen. You could not have told me back then that preparing steamed broccoli, boiled corn on the cob, and bags of frozen vegetables wasn’t serious cooking. Besides, I’d work some chicken fingers and french fries into the rotation, too.
My vegetable vocabulary has expanded considerably since, though my palate still craves the nostalgic from time to time. This recipe honors the vegetables I discovered later, but uses a technique I’ve always loved. It’s traditional fair food for the vegan crowd.”
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
2 quarts peanut oil for frying
4 small zucchini, stem ends trimmed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 recipe corn dog batter (follows)
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoon fresh thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 large egg
1½ cups light beer
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from cob)
2 cups sour cream
Zucchini Corn Dogs
Corn Dog Batter
- Make the corn dog batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, thyme, garlic powder, and salt until well combined. Add the egg and the beer to the dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth and combined; the batter should be thicker than pancake batter, more like a thin cake batter.
- Prepare zucchini dogs: In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer. Line a plate with paper towels and set it nearby.
- Insert a skewer halfway into each zucchini through the stem end, so the bottom of the zucchini is sticking upward. Lightly dampen the outside of each zucchini with water, shake off any excess, then dust the zucchini with the cornstarch.
- Pour the corn dog batter into a tall glass or pitcher. Dip a skewered zucchini into the batter to fully coat, allowing the excess to drip off. Once nicely coated in batter, immediately place the zucchini in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Use metal tongs to flip the zucchini dog over to brown the other side. When the zucchini dog is golden, use the tongs to grab the end of the skewer and transfer it to the paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with the remaining zucchini. Serve immediately with the Corn Crema.
- For the corn crema: In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes to allow the corn to char.
- Transfer the charred kernels to a blender and add the sour cream, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and salt. Blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Excerpted from WATERMELON AND RED BIRDS by Nicole A. Taylor. Copyright © 2022 by Nicole A. Taylor. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.