It’s CNE season, folks, and with late-summer midway fun comes the best of the best of carnival food. But don’t worry, if you’re booked solid for the rest of the month, are too far from the Canadian National Exhibition or just not inclined to brave the crowds, you can still have midway eats from the comfort of home. 


Cheesy Kimchi Tater Tots 

Serves 4 to 6

1 800-g bag tater tots

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 cup grated old cheddar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 cup kimchi, chopped

1 tbsp liquid from the kimchi bottle

Cilantro and sliced green onions for garnish

  • Cook the tater tots according to package directions.  Keep warm until sauce is ready.

  • Add butter to a medium pot and melt over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add flour and whisk to combine.  Cook flour, stirring often, for 1 more min. While whisking, add in milk in a slow steady stream. Continue whisking until sauce is smooth and white.

  • Turn heat to low.  Use a wooden spoon to stir in grated cheddar cheese, stir until all the cheddar has melted; then stir in the Dijon mustard, kimchi and kimchi liquid.

  • Place desired amount of tater tots on a plate and pour over cheesy kimchi sauce. Garnish with cilantro and green onions, as desired.

Corn Dog Pickle Muffins

Makes 12

1 cup medium cornmeal

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ cup full sour pickles, chopped

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup milk

1 egg

¼ cup melted butter

3 hot dogs, cut into 4 equal pieces

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

  • Whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, cayenne, baking powder and baking soda. 

  • In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, milk and egg. Pour into dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well-combined. Slowly pour in melted butter while stirring continuously. Stir in pickles.

  • Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Fill each cup ¾ of the way full with batter. Tuck a piece of hot dog into the center of the muffin.

  • Place in the oven on middle rack and cook for 12 to 14 min. Remove from oven and place muffins on cooling rack. Serve with mustard and ketchup.

Cinnamon-Sugar Cronuts

Makes 6

1 450-g package pre-rolled puff pastry (2 sheets)

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Flour for dusting work surface

Oil for deep-frying

  • Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.

  • Combine sugar and cinnamon on a plate and set aside.

  • Dust counter with flour and place pre-rolled sheet of pastry on the counter. Fold pastry in thirds. Repeat with second sheet of pastry.

  • Using a 3-in. round cookie cutter (or a 3-in. cup or glass), cut 3 rounds out of the folded pastry. Cut a small hole in the centre with the back of an icing tip or a ½-in. cookie cutter. Place cronuts in the fridge until ready to fry.

  • Place about 4 in. oil into a medium-sized pot, over medium heat. Place a clip-on thermometer onto the pot, with the tip in the oil. Bring the oil to 375 F.

  • Slowly lower cronuts into the oil, one at a time, using the end of a long wooden spoon. Turn cronut after about 2 min. Cook for about 6 to 7 min, turning every other minute, until golden-brown.  

  • Remove cronut to plate with cinnamon sugar and turn until well-coated. 

Deep-Fried Caramel Brownies

Makes 14

1 bag two-bite brownies (about 14)

7 soft vanilla caramels, halved

1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging

2 cups store-bought pancake mix

Oil for frying

  • Press half a caramel into the middle of each brownie. Use the warmth of your hands to mold the soft brownie around the caramel. Place caramel-filled brownies on a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet of brownies to the freezer for at least 30 min, or until you are ready to deep-fry them.

  • Place about 4 in. of oil into a medium-sized pot, over medium high heat.  Place a clip-on thermometer on the inside of the pot, with the tip in the oil.  Heat oil to a temperature of 375 F.

  • Prepare 2 cups of pancake batter according to package directions.

  • Remove brownies from freezer.

  • Dredge 4 brownies in flour so they are well-coated.

  • Dip dredged brownies into the pancake batter and completely cover each brownie. 

  • Slowly lower each brownie into the heated oil.  Use the end of a long wooden spoon to move brownies around after about 1 min.  Cook brownies for about 4 min, or until golden brown.  Remove cooked brownies to a paper towel to drain and repeat with remaining brownies.

Download a printable version of these recipes here.

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