French Poodles

June  6, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes 12 poodles
Author Notes

A few years back I was making a lot of French garlic sausage because I had never had it and it just seemed like an interesting thing to do. Well, as would be expected I wound up with a lot of it in my quest for finding a great recipe. One night my wife said she wanted corn dogs. We love our corn dogs but had no hot dogs. Out came the garlic sausage and we dubbed them French Poodles. The garlic sausage has long disappeared and what we switched to is ring bologna and, to tell you the truth, we like it so much better. What is great about these is the meat to crust ratio is much better than the traditional corn dog. I like to serve them with Sauce American, mustard and waffle fries, seems wrong to call them garfrettes in this instance. Seems I use the Ad Hoc seasoned flour for about everything these days. An approximation would be 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayanne, salt and fresh ground black pepper. - thirschfeld —thirschfeld

Test Kitchen Notes

Thirschfeld has swept away the years I spent (sometimes) patiently explaining that no, the son or the daughter could not order a corn dog for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- they needed to choose one. Now that they're (sometimes) adults, and we communicate and spend time together so differently, I’ve wished I’d been a little less rigid when they were younger. Then along comes thirschfeld. He MAKES corndogs, rechristened French Poodles, for his children. Not only that, he makes the sausage, too. He is serious Father of the Year material. I found myself a little short on homemade French garlic sausage, so I used Nathan's hot dogs instead. The test was worth the price of admission for the seasoned flour, a new staple in my kitchen. These little treasures are seriously addicting. I dipped them in a mixture of Sauce Américaine, mustard, and mayo (hey, what do you expect of someone from California?), and could not leave them alone. It's a good thing I got some photos taken before we started sampling. French Poodles are a blast to make. If you don't have a child, borrow one. It would definitely increase the fun factor.
P.S. The batter coated way more than 12 mini dogs, and that's a very good thing.
- boulangere

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces ring bologna, there are lots of options for good quality ring bologna
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal, medium grind will give you some grit and find grind will give you cake, use what you like
  • 1/2 cup seasoned flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • peanut oil for frying
  1. Cut the ring bologna into 1/2 inch rounds. Peel the synthetic casing off if it has one or just make sure the casing is tearable with your teeth. You should have twelve. Put a wooden toothpick or skewer into the bologna. Dredge the poodles in a half cup of the seasoned flour and let them sit there while you make the batter.
  2. Place a 3 1/2 quart heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and pour in emough oil to come no further that 1/3 of the way up the side of the pot. Start making your batter by combining the seasoned flour with the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder and soda.
  3. Add the egg and milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Using a deep fry thermometer get the oil to 350 degrees F. Stir the batter to get rid of excess bubbles. If you don't remove the bubbles it will be difficult to dip your poodles.
  5. Dip the poodles and gently and carefully place them into the hot oil. Cook them until hot, golden brown and delicious. Serve with Sauce American and mustard. Potato chips or fries are excellent choices too.
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  • hennef7
  • boulangere
  • Midge
  • pierino
  • nannydeb

46 Reviews

Libby95 May 4, 2012
I am making these for a charity beer tasting event, after serving them to a Swedish man in his 70s, who never had a corn dog, loved them. His sons, who love corn dogs, also thought these were great. And my husband ate most of them, couldn't stop himself from eating almost a dozen. My hat's off to you, thirshfeld. You rock. And so do your poodles.
lovetron February 11, 2012
I fixed these for the Super Bowl and they were fantastic. I substituted low-fat turkey cheddar cocktail sausages for the ring bologna and was happy with the final result. As others may have noted, there is PLENTY of batter to accommodate a lot more than what is called for in the recipe, which just let us cook up a lot more dogs!
Claire H. September 16, 2011
would these be good cold?
thirschfeld September 16, 2011
Wouldn't be my first choice and I would probably consider something else
hennef7 September 16, 2011
You can reheat them. I made a big batch and froze half of them. Just reheat as you would a frozen corn dog.
thirschfeld September 16, 2011
hennef7 is right you could reheat them, I just think a lot of people are freaked out by cold hotdogs.
Claire H. September 16, 2011
would these be ok cold for a party?
hennef7 September 6, 2011
I tried these over the weekend....used cocktail franks from Trader Joe's. There was plenty of batter for the entire package, They were a huge hit. I loved the seasoned flour. Thanks for the recipe!
boulangere June 23, 2011
For some reason, food52 edited some of my comments, so my original intent is a little obscured, but the gist is there: you are the bomb, and so are these.
boulangere June 23, 2011
Seriously, I don't understand why they changed my comments. The point is that the son and the daughter were NEVER allowed to order corndogs for any meal, whatever it was wherever they were. We lived in California. They were born in Berkeley, for crying out loud. I had to be a Good Mother. In retrospect, I do wish I'd been a bit less constipated about some things. In the long run, we've all survived, they're magnificent young adults with whom I love spending any time that I can given all our busy lives. And I really, really admire you for making these for your children. The next time we're all together, I'm going to make them for mine.
boulangere June 21, 2011
BTW, your to-die-for seasoned flour and batter covered way more than 12 mini dogs. And that's a very, very good thing.
boulangere June 21, 2011
The test was a roaring success. We universally loved these. We made them after lunch, and I was anticipating lots of which to take photos. Damn good thing I took photos first. I posted an "after" photo. Feel absolutely free to tear it up if you wish. You're my nominee for Father of the Year.
thirschfeld June 22, 2011
Glad everyone enjoyed them. Thanks for testing my recipe too. It always makes nervous when others cook a recipe of mine.
boulangere June 22, 2011
Oh man, not this one!
boulangere June 18, 2011
Lucky enough to have grabbed these to test for an EP. I'll certainly follow the recipe for that. I'm also thinking once they're done and downed for the test, I may try subbing buttermilk for milk and maybe a blend of half polenta, half cornmeal. What do you think? Really looking forward to the seasoned flour. Cold beer waiting.
thirschfeld June 18, 2011
Buttermilk would be great but you know as well as anyone the acid will make the chemical leaveners be very potent so I would cut back the baking powder and soda amounts probably.
boulangere June 22, 2011
Midge June 7, 2011
With a cold beer, yum!
thirschfeld June 7, 2011
ellenl June 7, 2011
What a great name!
thirschfeld June 7, 2011
pierino June 6, 2011
So would Private Doberman...
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
Didn't get rich in that role
pierino June 6, 2011
There actually is a French sauce "a la Amercaine" which involves lobster parts. The story goes that the French cook who crafted it worked in America for awhile and then went back to France. They gave him the nickname "Chicago" because apparently that's where he worked.

Another factoid involving Chicago, the real Chicago, they don't allow ketchup in the real hotdog places. Strictly forbidden. The Chicago hot dog is one of those sacrosanct institutions like Wrigley Field.
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
Yes and I know of the sauce didn't know the background, verrry interesting. Somehow I think Sergeant Schultz would have liked the real Chicago dog places.
boulangere June 6, 2011
hilarious and of course informative to find you two together.
nannydeb June 6, 2011
Love ring bologna! And I love fried things! Sounds like heaven.
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
I don't know I might have to go for some Elgin sausage too.
TXExpatInBKK June 23, 2011
Elgin sausage... oh man, you're making me homesick!
Love! My grandsons will go crazy for these!
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
thanks and I bet they will
aargersi June 6, 2011
Is Sauce American = ketchup? These sound super tasty and fancy because they have French in the name.
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
I used to work in a French restaurant and, at least here, people love their ketchup. We took to calling it, you got it, Sauce American (pronounced with a French accent).
aargersi June 6, 2011
I heart ketchup :-)
hardlikearmour June 6, 2011
Tummy growling! Love the increased crust to meat ratio with these puppies!
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
sorry about you tummy and, yes, the increased ratio is a good thing
wssmom June 6, 2011
This is amazing. They look delicious!
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
thanks wssmom
boulangere June 6, 2011
Perfect name.
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
boulangere June 6, 2011
People go seriously nuts over corn dogs. We've done minis using cut-up hot dogs at catered events where people almost can't believe their eyes. Your children will never forget that you actually made them corn dogs, only better.
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
This is what Lynnie wanted for her birthday last year. The adults loved them more than the kids. Doing them this way makes them much more manageable to cook and eat.
boulangere June 6, 2011
totally believe it about the adults more than the kids. remind me sometime to tell you the story of the evening I made nachos with that dreadful stripe-a-highway-orange bottled sauce and my daughter stroked my hand, saying, "you are a gooooood mom."
mrslarkin June 6, 2011
whoa, this looks crazy good. What's ring bologna? Bologna in a sausage shape?
thirschfeld June 6, 2011
Yes, ring bologna is about the size of kielbasa or smokes polishes. I find that the ring bologna is usually more of a specialty sausage with many more varieties than traditional bologna. And thanks if you like corn dogs you will love these.
MyCommunalTable June 7, 2011
One of my favorite sandwiches growing up is one made with ring bologna. I have a hard time finding it in Chicago, though. Just a few butchers carry it. Love this recipe, love the name, wish my son wasn't allergic to eggs, so I could make this for him. Maybe egg replacer would work to bind the batter enough to hold up for frying? It works for pancakes. I will have to tinker a little. Thanks for the inspiration.