When I was a kid, I was so obsessed with ketchup. It went on/in everything. From mac’n'cheese to the more conventional french fry, I was obsessed. And then, with no real warning, our sordid love affair was over. Ketchup was disgusting, and I didn’t want it on my hamburger, let alone my mac’n'cheese. Everything was barbecue, those days. And really, barbecue is an ideal dipping sauce: spicy, sweet, with a little tanginess thrown in for good measure.
And then Joel and I went to the Old Salt Restaurant in Beaufort, NC. First, let me begin by saying that they have a fantastic gluten free menu and a staff that’s actually educated on it. Second, they have these sea salt brined fries…
I recognize the fact that in creating a food blog, I’m signing on to be able to write about food. But sometimes… the texture and the flavor are just absolutely so amazing, that you don’t even have words for them. And to be honest, I’ve been chasing that sea salt brined high ever since.
Five Guys fries are not a bad stand in when I’m back in Durham. They’ve got the flavor just right, but the texture isn’t quite there.
But the thing is, the fries weren’t even it. They serve them with their own homemade ketchup that is unbelievable. I just… words…. not there…
And ever since, I’m back on the ketchup wagon. I knew I was going to have the house to myself on Friday night with a new season of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix (I recognize that I should be watching Orange is the New Black, but that’s a together show while Joel doesn’t really care for PLL). I was out running errands, and I thought some fries with some sort of fancy ketchup would exactly do the trick.
Oh man, did they ever! Heinz has this ketchup with balsamic vinegar. The fries were everything that prepackaged frozen fries are, but this ketchup is a game changer.
When I told Joel about it after, he wanted in on that mess. So we manufactured an excuse to use it again: corndog muffins with tater tots (a preference of his I’ll never understand).
Corndog muffins were a pinterest find from forever ago. They’re the easiest way to satisfy a corndog craving, which, if you’re anything like me, come fairly regularly. The recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats, and while I like the concept, her method simply doesn’t work for me. A) I don’t have a mini muffin tin. B) I have found the best gluten free cornbread mix in the whole wide world, and I really don’t see any reason to mess with that. C) I also think we can do a smidgen better than regular ol’ hot dogs.
So let’s simplify this a bit.
- Prepared cornbread batter*
- Kielbasa sausage, cut into 12 equal pieces
Pour batter into muffin tins as the recipe directs (do not overfill). Insert a sausage piece into the middle of each filled muffin tin. If there is batter leftover, I like to pour it into a small pan and bake plain to have with butter and honey for dessert.
* My personal favorite of the gluten free varieties is Pamela’s. My homemade cornbread isn’t that good. I figure if I’m having corndogs for dinner, I might as well go whole hog and treat myself with my favorite cornbread (see what I did there?).
P.S. The combo with the ketchup. Absolutely divine.