So this is what we ate for dinner. And by "ate" I mean "devoured," as in the boys sucked theirs up promptly and were sad that we had to save the rest for Papa. It’s what my old friend Renee (not Renee Pearson, if you were wondering) would call "ditch bank Okie" food. She would call it that as she and her husband ate an entire panful.
This is dirt-freakin-cheap, which has been a theme for our meals around here lately, and would probably work just fine with veggie dogs if you were so inclined. (We were more inclined to use Hebrew National, which had been on a wicked sale.)
Corn Dog Casserole, or "Corn Dog-Like Substance" for the gourmets among us
Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a skillet. Add 1 cup chopped celery and 1 cup chopped onion; saute 5 minutes. While veggies are cooking, quarter 6 hot dogs lengthwise, then cut each quarter into thirds width-wise. (Or "girthy-wise," if you happen to be a fan of that unutterably creepy commercial.) When onions are translucent, add hot dogs to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove 1/2 cup of mixture from skillet and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk, 1 tsp rubbed sage and several grindings of black pepper in a large bowl. Fold in all but the reserved 1/2 cup hot dog mixture. Stir in a package of corn muffin mix (the 8.5-ounce Jiffy kind that comes in a retro-cheery blue and white box). Stir in a handful of shredded cheese; cheddar would be fine, 4-cheese Mexican blend is our default house choice. Sprinkle remaining hot dog mixture over the top. (You can poke the hot dog shards into the batter at artistic angles, if you’re so inclined. This step might seem a little silly, but the protruding shards really get nice and brown and crispy… mmm.)
Spread into a greased 2-quart (I think… it’s the small square Pyrex kind) casserole and bake at 400 for 30 minutes, or until well browned. If you like, you can sprinkle another handful of cheese over the top for the last 5 or so minutes of baking, but to me, that kind of seems like gilding the lily, or cheesing the hot dog, or something. Unnecessary, anyway.
Tastes pretty much exactly like a corn dog from the state fair, but is much tidier to eat and doesn’t need to be fried.