Friday 6 April 2012

Taco Corn Dog Muffins

My husband is usually pretty good about what I put on the table.  He puts up with my mad scientist moods and willing tastes my experiments.  He eats leftovers without complaint and, even though he’s not much of a vegetable guy, he’s accepted the ever-decreasing amount of meat in our diet with few complaints.  Sometimes, though, he just wants his junk food.

Usually when the big guy gets a specific craving, I try to accommodate him.  It seems only fair since he's such a good sport.  Which is why we ended up eating hotdogs for supper on Wednesday. 

I sent my fella out to run some errands and he came home with hotdogs.

At least they were good hot dogs – all beef and fairly lean.  He checked the pricing too, and bought home the package that cost the least per pound.  It meant that he came home with 1.46 kg/3.22 lbs of hot dogs but that’s okay by me.  I put the extras in the freezer.

Best price or not, I’m not about to let a leftover hot dog go to waste.  We had one left after supper so I decided to use it for lunch the next day.  The hot dogs my husband bought are a generous size - they weigh about a quarter pound each - but that’s still not a lot of meat if you’re serving two people, so I needed to find a way to stretch the portions into something more filling.

A couple of weeks back, while surfing around Pinterest, I’d come across a recipe for corn dog muffins.  I didn’t pin it at the time because, frankly, we don’t much care for corn dogs at our house.  (My guy once described them as tasting of “grease and grit.”  Not a very appealing image, but accurate.)  Now I found myself thinking that corn dog muffins might be a good idea after all. 

I didn’t have the Pinterest recipe, but I did have the inspiration, so I decided to make a recipe of my own.  We both like corn muffins made from my Johnny cake recipe so I started from there.  We like chili dogs but we don’t like a lot of heat in our dishes so I decided to bump up the flavour of the muffins by adding in some taco seasoning* and, since no chili dog at our house is ever made without cheese, I added in some sharp cheddar too.

Have you ever made something that turns out better than you expected it to?  These muffins are that thing.  I served them hot from the oven and they were so good!  I’m definitely making these again.  Soon.

To make Taco Corn Dog Muffins, you’ll need:

  • One 1/4 pound all beef hot dog
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup low fat evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed) mixed with 1/2 cup of the hot dog cooking water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning*
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar

Cut the hot dog, lengthwise, into quarters.  Cook the pieces in a non-stick frying pan until the cut sides are browned.  Let them cool to room temperature and then cut the quarters cross-wise into small pieces.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, evaporated milk mixture, sugar, and oil.  Beat the egg and mix it in too.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, taco seasoning, and baking powder.

Add in the hot dog pieces and cheddar and toss gently with your fingers until the meat and cheese are mixed through and lightly coated with the flour mixture.

Add the dry mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir just until everything is combined.  There will be some lumps in the batter.

Spoon the muffin batter into a greased muffin tin.  I got 10 muffins out of this recipe.  If you have empty muffin cups, pour a little water into each empty space.  This will help to distribute the heat evenly and will protect your muffin pan from warping.

Bake the muffins in a 400˚F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. 

The muffins are best served warm.  Leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen.

*A note on the taco seasoning:  I use The Best Taco Seasoning Recipe Ever from  I make up a large batch of it and keep it in an airtight jar in the pantry so I have it on hand whenever I need it.

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