Fun Fair Foods

It is carnival and fair time!  Unfortunately, covid has cancelled a lot of these celebrations this year.  There are some that are doing drive through food trucks though! Fun!  I have put together a series of columns with fun fair foods you can make at home.  I know it won’t quite be the same, but it will allow you to enjoy some of your favorites without paying so much for them!

I remember trips to the fair growing up.  I remember being in awe of the many booths.  It was so big! Growing up, I collected porcelain dolls and so I was always looking for the next one that struck my fancy. I also liked to look at the pewter figures, looking for a dragon or maybe a unicorn I liked.  I was picky even back then.  I remember being fascinated by the candle maker dipping over and over again and then carving such beautiful things.  A bag of cotton candy was a must and Mom and I often shared a funnel cake.  Tera always had to have at least one piece of pizza, and it was usually closer to 4 or 5.  Dad always looked for something chocolate. I liked watching the rides, I rarely rode any and didn’t really desire to, but I loved to watch.  I remember traveling from one end to the other ABOVE the fair on the sky lift.  Lots of laughter, so much fun. I remember the excited exhaustion at the end of the day and falling asleep on the car ride home too. 

This week, I tested a few fair favorite foods at home.  Make your grocery list and meet me in the kitchen for foods from the fair!

Pizza on a Stick

1 pkg pepperoni slices

1 refrigerated pizza crust

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

½ tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup pizza sauce for dipping

Soak 10 bamboo skewers in warm water at least 30 minutes or use metal skewers.  Preheat oven to 400°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place pizza dough onto lightly floured countertop. Mix together melted butter, garlic and basil. Brush dough lightly with garlic basil butter. Cut dough, lengthwise, into 1-inch wide strips.  Thread 5-7 pepperoni slices, folded in half, on each skewer. Leave enough space between each slice for dough. Starting at one end of dough strip, pierce dough with pointed end of the skewer. Spiral-wrap dough strip around pepperoni on skewer, allowing meat to peak through. Wrap end of dough strip around bottom of skewer to fasten. Press dough together on each end to be sure it sticks to skewer. Place skewers on prepared baking sheet and brush tops with more garlic basil butter. Bake 10-12 minutes or until pizza dough is light golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Allow cheese to melt (place back in hot oven, if necessary) and serve with pizza sauce if desired.  

Recipe adapted from thecookierookie.com.

 

Bacon Wrapped Corn Dogs

8 slices bacon

1 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup cornmeal

2 Tbsps. sugar

2 tsps. baking powder

2 tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. salt

2 tsp. paprika

2 eggs, beaten

¾ cup buttermilk

8 hot dogs

8 skewers

oil, for frying

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay bacon on baking sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  You want it cooked but not crispy. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, seasonings, eggs and buttermilk until smooth.  Pour into tall glass large enough to completely dip hot dogs.  Pat bacon and hot dogs dry with paper towel.  Insert skewer through each hot dog making sure there is enough left out for a handle. Wrap bacon around hot dogs, skewering at top and bottom.  Preheat enough oil to submerge corndogs to 375°F.  Dip hot dog in batter and place immediately in oil.  Repeat, dropping just enough dogs into oil so they have a little space between. Usually no more than 4 or 5 at a time will fit in a large skillet.  Cook 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oil and place on paper towel lined plate.  Repeat with remaining dogs. Serve hot. 

Recipe adapted from thegunnysack.com

 

Fried Tacos

½ pound lean ground turkey

¼ cup water

¼ cup minced onion

2 tsps. chili powder

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp salt

1 clove minced garlic

pinch dried oregano

2 Tbsps. masa

Oil for frying

8 corn tortillas

American cheese slices

shredded lettuce

hot sauce

Combine first nine ingredients in medium bowl and mix well. Mixture will be wet.  Put into skillet and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until meat is browned. Add masa and mix well to thicken. Turn off heat.  Warm tortillas on an oiled griddle to soften. Spread filling onto each tortilla and fold over. Press to seal.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate tacos for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.  Heat 1 inch of oil in a deep skillet to about 350°F. Fry 2-4 tacos at a time depending on size of skillet. They may try to open so pay attention and hold closed for a few seconds if needed. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.  Drain tacos on paper towels for a few minutes.  Once cooled slightly, gently open taco and stick in half slice of American cheese and a sprinkle of lettuce and dash of hot sauce. This is possible as long as you do it within the first minute or two after it comes out of oil.  It’s okay if the shell cracks a little; it will still hold together.  

Recipe adapted from hilahcooking.com.

 

Fried Alligator

2 lb. alligator meat

3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

3 tsps. Cajun seasoning

1 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

2-3 cups oil for frying

Preheat oil in skillet to 375°F.  Rinse and dry alligator. Tenderize using meat tenderizer. Cut into bite-size pieces. Place flour in shallow pan or bowl. Add salt and cayenne to your taste, mixing well. In another shallow bowl, mix milk and eggs. Dip alligator bites in egg wash, then place in flour mixture, coating well. Fry in oil 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe adapted from mulates.com.