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Vegan Recipes: State Fair Fare
When author Brian Patton, aka The Sexy Vegan, began dating his soon-to-be wife, he offered to entertain her with Friday night Happy Hours at her apartment or his. After a long workweek, she was ready to kick back and enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, and it was the perfect way to enjoy summer evenings. After a couple weeks, these evenings weren’t just for two because her friends begged for invitations after hearing rave reviews of Brian’s delicious tapas and appetizers.
State Fair Fare:
Corn Dawggies with the Most Wonderful Ketchup
- Canola, vegetable, or any other high-heat oil, for deep-frying
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons unrefined granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1/2 cup arrowroot
- 4 veggie dogs, cut into thirds
- Yellow or whole-grain mustard, for serving
- The Most Wonderful Ketchup (recipe follows), for serving
Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches into a pot, high-sided pan, or deep fryer. Line a plate with paper towels and set it next to the stove. Heat the oil over medium heat until it registers 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, chile powder, paprika, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Stir in the nondairy milk and keep stirring until you have a batter that is slightly thicker than pancake batter. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
Spread out the arrowroot on a large plate. Working in batches, roll the veggie dogs in the arrowroot until completely coated, tapping the dogs to remove the excess, and immerse the dogs in the batter. Using a fork or chopsticks, take the dogs out of the batter and gently lower them into the oil. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden on all sides, making sure to turn them a few times for even cooking. Transfer the dogs to the paper towel–lined plate. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut them in half crosswise, and serve with toothpicks, mustard, and the Most Wonderful Ketchup.
The Most Wonderful Ketchup
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 teaspoons pomegranate concentrate (see WTF below)
- 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
Whisk all this stuff together in a bowl.
WTF is pomegranate concentrate? WHAT it is, is pretty self-explanatory, but WHERE to find it might be a little more of a mystery. You can find it at supplement and vitamin stores, and if all else fails, the Interwebs come to the rescue.
Okra “Fries” with White Barbecue Sauce
- 1/2 pound okra, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- Salt and pepper
- White Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows), for serving
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats. In a medium bowl, toss the okra with the olive oil, cornmeal, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread out the okra in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Serve warm with White Barbecue Sauce (see WTF below).
White Barbecue Sauce
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, vinegar, agave nectar, horseradish, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Seriously, WTF is white barbecue sauce?!? It’s a tangy, mayo-based sauce invented in Alabama for brushing on grilled foods during the last few minutes of cooking. It can also be served on the side as a condiment. It’s also what comes out of Paula Deen if you prick her with a pin. Disclaimer: Do not prick Paula Deen with anything. Thank you.
- Okra (1/2 pound)
- Unbleached all-purpose flour (1/2 cup)
- Unrefined granulated sugar (2 teaspoons)
- Cornmeal (3/4 cup)
- Baking powder (2 teaspoons)
- Arrowroot (1/2 cup)
- Agave nectar (1 teaspoon)
- Pomegranate concentrate (2 teaspoons)
- Canola, vegetable, or any other high-heat oil (1 to 2 quarts, depending on the size of your deep-frying vessel)
- Extra-virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon)
- Apple cider vinegar (4 teaspoons)
- Ketchup (1 cup)
- Yellow or whole-grain mustard (for serving)
- Prepared horseradish (1 teaspoon)
- Ancho chile powder (1/2 teaspoon)
- Smoked paprika (3/4 teaspoon)
- Nondairy milk, unsweetened (2/3 cup)
- Vegan mayo (1/2 cup)
- Veggie dogs (4)
Photo credit ©Dan Boissy
Brian Patton is author of The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home and The Sexy Vegan Cookbook. He is also executive chef for Vegin’ Out, a vegan food delivery service in Los Angeles. As the quintessential “regular dude” vegan chef, he started posting instructional cooking videos on YouTube as his witty, ukulele playing alter-ego The Sexy Vegan and quickly gained a large following. Visit him online at thesexyvegan.com.