Normally this time of year would be the start of annual fall festivals across the state and region. Fairs would set up their vendor booths and amusement rides, maybe agriculture showings would display the progress they’ve made since last year, and most of all the smell of fried foods and sweets would be everywhere.
Instead of enjoying fall fair time, most of us are still self-quarantining, trying to limit the continued spread of the coronavirus. Fairs were cancelled months ago for the same reason. But just because you can’t get to a fair doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some of the best parts: the food.
Check out some recipes we compiled to inspire you to get that festival food fix this fall.
■2 cups (241g) unbleached all-purpose flour
■2 teaspoons baking powder
■3/4 teaspoon salt
■2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, cold, in 1/2" cubes
■3/4 cup (170g) water, lukewarm
1.Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2.Work in the cold butter, using a pastry blender, your fingers, or a mixer.
3.Stir in the warm water to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
4.Divide the dough into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a thin 5" round, about 3/8" thick.
5.Heat about 3/8" vegetable oil to 375°F in an electric frying pan, or in a pan over a burner. If you're using a 10" diameter pan, this is 2 cups of vegetable oil. If you're not using an electric frying pan, use a candy thermometer to take the temperature of the oil; or guesstimate it by seeing if the first piece of dough fries nicely in the time specified.
6.Pick up one dough disk, and carefully lower it into the pan. Let it cook for 60 seconds, until it puffs up on top and becomes light brown on the bottom, then flip it over and cook until light brown on the other side, about 60 seconds. To keep the dough fluffy instead of crispy, keep light brown.
7.Remove from the oil and set on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. To keep warm while making the others, place in a 200°F oven.
8.Serve warm, with your topping of choice. Toppings could include confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon sugar, and marinara sauce with cheese.
*Inspired by King Arthur Baking
■1 lime, cut into wedges
■3 tablespoons sugar
■1 and 1/2 oz fresh lime juice (1 or 2 limes)
■8 oz seltzer water
■Make adult-only with 2 oz of gin
1.In a cocktail shaker, muddle all the lime wedges with the sugar, until the lime wedges release their juices and the juice becomes syrupy.
2.Add ice and lime juice and shake vigorously. (If using a glass, stir with a long spoon.)
3.Strain into an ice-filled highball glass, top with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.
*Inspired by Gonna Want Seconds
■3/4 cup yellow corn meal
■3/4 cup all-purpose flour
■1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar substitute
■1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
■1/4 teaspoon salt
■1 egg, beaten
■1 cup buttermilk
■1 and 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
■6 hot dogs
■6 wooden skewers or popsicle sticks
1.Add the dry ingredients (corn meal, flour, baking powder, sweetener and salt) to a large bowl and stir.
2.Add in the wet ingredients (beaten egg, melted butter, and buttermilk). Stir.
3.Pour the batter into a large drinking glass to dip the dogs.
4.Remove the hot dogs from the packaging and dry them completely to help the batter stick to the hot dogs. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cut the hot dogs in half.
5.Thread the hot dogs with the skewers. Push each stick into the hot dogs about 3/4ths of the way into the hot dog.
6.Dip each hot dog into the batter in the drinking glass and ensure each is coated.
7.Set the hot dogs in the parchment paper-lined air fryer basket. If there are areas of the hot dog that are missing batter, use a spoon and add more batter to those areas. This is easier to do once you get the corn dogs in the air fryer.
8.Spray the corn dogs with cooking oil.
9.Air fry the hot dogs for 8-12 minutes on 400 degrees until golden brown.
*Inspired by Stay Snatched
■4 cups frozen french-fries or tater tots
■1 envelope brown gravy mix
■1/4 teaspoon pepper
■1/2 cup white cheddar cheese curds or cubed white cheddar or mozzarella cheese
1.Prepare french-fries or tater tots according to package directions.
2.Meanwhile, prepare gravy mix according to package directions. Stir in pepper. Place fries on a serving plate and top with cheese curds and gravy.
*Inspired by Taste of Home
■18 Oreo cookies
■1 1/2 cups pancake mix
■3/4 cup milk
■2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
■1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
■1/4 cup powdered sugar
1.Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees F.
2.Combine the pancake mix, egg, milk, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and vanilla extract in a bowl.
3.Dip each Oreo into the batter, then carefully place in the oil. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over.
4.Remove the Oreos from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
5. On a serving plate, sift powdered sugar over the top of the Oreos and serve immediately.
*Inspired by Dinner at the Zoo
■1/4 cup coconut oil (or vegetable or canola oil)
■1/2 cup popcorn kernels
■1/4 cup granulated sugar
■1 teaspoon salt
1.In a large pot with a lid, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels.
2.Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the popcorn kernels when the coconut oil starts to sizzle. Cover and stir until the popping slows down. The popcorn should be done popping in about 2 minutes.
3.Remove from the heat and pour the kettle corn onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to let cool and get crunchy.
Tip: You can use brown sugar instead for more of a caramel taste.
*Inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod
6 apples (Cortland or Granny Smith recommended)
2 tbs sugar
2 and 2/3 cup flour
1 and ½ cup milk
¼ cup cinnamon sugar
½ tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
Cristco or vegetable oil for frying
1.Peel and core apples, cut each into small cubes.
2.Mix eggs, sugar, salt, flour, baking powder and milk in a large bowl, until just combined. Gently fold in apples.
3.In a cast iron fry pan or pot, place shortening about 2 inches deep for frying and heat until the oil reaches about 350 degrees.
4.Using an ice cream scooper or spoon, drop small balls of the batter into the oil. Fry only a few at a time so that the oil stays hot. Cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
5.Using a slotted spoon, remove the balls and place on paper towels to drain.
6.Drop the fritters into a paper bag filled with cinnamon sugar to coat.
*Inspired by Divas Can Cook