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How to Make State Fair Food

August 12, 2014

Bring Home the Minnesota State Fair

Sweet Martha’s cookies. Walleye on a stick. Milk shakes from the 4-H booth. What Minnesota State Fair food do you dream about all year?

Corn dogs must make frequent appearances in Fair food daydreams, since 500,000 are served during a typical Minnesota State Fair. If you can’t wait for the gates to open on August 21, here are some ways to make State Fair food at home. Include these ingredients when you buy your Minnesota groceries, invite some friends over and have a pre-fair party!

deep fried cheese curds

Photo courtesy of

As we begin diving into delicious, deep-fried recipes, I have to start off with my personal favorite, the legendary deep-fried cheese curds.

Deep-Fried Cheese Curds

2 quarts corn oil for frying

1/4 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup beer

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 pounds cheese curds, broken apart

Heat corn oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees.

Whisk together milk, flour, beer, salt, and eggs to form a smooth, rather thin batter. Place cheese curds, about 6 or 8 at a time, into the batter, stir to coat and remove with a wire strainer. Shake the curds to remove excess batter.

Deep fry the curds until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and then serve hot.

During the dog days of summer, this fair treat will cool you off nicely.

Mocha on a Stick

mocha on a stick

Photo courtesy of

4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup strong, hot coffee (or espresso)

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup whole milk

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt

Popsicle molds

Popsicle sticks

Place the chopped chocolates in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the chocolate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 5 minutes.

Pour the cream and milk into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high heat until warm, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour the warm-milk mixture over the chocolate, add the corn syrup, vanilla and salt and stir to combine. Fill each of the sections of a six-pop ice mold with the chocolate mixture.

Freeze the mocha pops until they’re semi-frozen, about 2 hours. Insert a popsicle stick into the center of each one, return to the freezer and freeze until hard, another 6 hours or overnight. To remove the mocha pops, place the bottom of the mold under hot running water until a pop easily slides out (if the mocha pop looks a little melted around the edges, then place it on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and refreeze until hard). Serve.

The fair is all about deep fried food!

Deep Fried Pickles


1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon drained horseradish

2 teaspoons ketchup

1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning


deep fried pickes

Photo courtesy of

Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

½ cup water

2 cups sliced dill pickles, drained

Make the sauce by mixing together the mayonnaise, horseradish, ketchup and Cajun seasoning in a bowl; set aside.

Heat 1 inch vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt and water in a large bowl until smooth. Spread the pickles on paper towels and pat dry.

Add half of the pickles to the batter and toss to coat. Remove from the batter using a slotted spoon, letting the excess drip off, and add to the oil one at a time. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Return the oil to 375 degrees F and repeat with the remaining pickles and batter. Serve immediately with the prepared sauce.

There are also recipes online for State Fair delicacies such as mini donuts, walleye on a stick and Elephant Ears.

We’ll provide the recipes. Include the ingredients when you order your Minnesota groceries. Invite some friends over and get a pre-taste of the Fair as you begin to count down to the Great Minnesota Get Together

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