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Fare from the Fair

From crazy culinary creations to deep-fried everything, the fair is known for its food: freshly squeezed, ice cold lemonade, savory cheese curds, crispy corn dogs, sweet, golden-fried funnel cakes, and so much more. But, if you can’t make it to the midway, or if you have a post-fair craving, here are some state fair staples to try at home!

Fare from the Fair

Freshly Squeezed Lemonade

Serves 4
Freshly Squeezed Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (6-8 lemons)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Ice cubes

 

Directions

Wash lemons and cut in half width-wise. Use a citrus juicer to juice lemons into a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup. Pour juice through a wire sieve into a serving pitcher. To the liquid measuring cup, add the sugar and 1 cup of water. Heat on high in the microwave for 1 minute; stir. If the sugar is not fully dissolved, heat for 30 seconds more. If the serving pitcher is glass, place a metal utensil into the pitcher to absorb heat and prevent it from cracking. Pour the sugar syrup into the pitcher. Add 2 cups of ice; mix. Add 4 cups of water, or to taste. Serve lemonade over ice cubes with lemon slices. 




Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Yields 16 to 18 muffins
Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 hot dogs
  • Oil for frying

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a mini muffin tin. Prepare the corn muffin mix according to package instructions. Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each well of the muffin tin. Cut each of the hot dogs into six equal pieces. Press one piece into the center of each muffin; make sure the top is covered with the batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven and serve hot. Or, if desired, deep fry the muffins once they have cooled for at least 10 minutes. To fry, add 2 inches of oil to a medium saucepan. Heat oil to 350°F-375°F. Use a slotted spoon to transfer muffins to the oil. Fry for about 15 seconds, or until golden. Remove from oil to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve hot with mustard and ketchup.




Fried Cheese Curds

Serves 4
Fried Cheese Curds

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces cheese curds
  • Oil for frying

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add the flour, baking soda, garlic powder and salt; mix well. To fry, add 2 inches of oil to a medium saucepan. Preheat oil to 350°F-375°F. Add a few cheese curds to batter and mix to coat well. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the oil. Cook for 15 to 30 seconds, or until golden on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cheese curds. Enjoy while hot.




Funnel Cake

Yields 4, 4-inch cakes
Funnel Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, milk and egg. Add the flour, sugar and baking powder and mix well. The mixture should resemble a thick pancake batter. To fry, add 2 inches of oil to a deep skillet. Preheat oil to 350°F-375°F. When the oil is preheated, place a finger over the bottom of a funnel with a 1/2-inch opening. Scoop 1/2 cup of the batter into funnel. Carefully hold the funnel high above the oil and release your finger. Move the funnel in a circular motion to create the funnel cake. Cook until golden; flip and cook until golden on the second side, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter. Use a wire sieve to sprinkle powdered sugar over the funnel cakes—or add your favorite toppings. Enjoy while hot.




Pork Totchos

Serves 4
Pork Totchos

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces frozen tater tots
  • 16 ounces shredded pork (see BONUS recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced jalapeños 
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sour cream

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a baking sheet. Place tots on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes. While tots are baking, mix together shredded pork, taco seasoning, diced onion and corn kernels in a medium bowl. After 15 minutes, remove baking sheet from the oven. Flip the tots. Top with the pork mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Continue baking for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve totchos with jalapeños, tomatoes and sour cream. OKL Article End




Hot Pork Sundae

Serves 4
Hot Pork Sundae

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease 
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups reserved pork cooking liquid (from shredded pork recipe)
  • 16 ounces shredded pork (see BONUS recipe below)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes 
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cherry tomatoes 

Directions

For the gravy, melt the bacon grease in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring, until the flour is a medium brown. Stir in the pork cooking liquid and whisk until combined. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the pork. Season with salt, as needed. To assemble the sundaes, place a large scoop of hot mashed potatoes into an individual serving bowl. Top with a generous scoop of the pork gravy. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of cheese over top; garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a tomato.




Shredded Pork

OKL Bonus Content Bonus Content!

 

Yields approximately 2 pounds
Shredded Pork

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds bone-in pork shoulder steaks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

 

Directions

Place all ingredients into the pot of an electric pressure cooker or a slow cooker. Add water just to cover. Pressure cooker: cook on meat setting for 50 minutes, or until very tender. Slow cooker: cook on high for 4 hours to 6 hours, or until very tender. Strain liquid (reserve if making the Hot Pork Sundae). Remove bones and fat. Shred meat with two fork.