Frog Leg Lollipops 3-Ways
So apparently if you are a kid in the South, gigging for bull frogs on a steamy summer night is as common as a Midwestern kid catching fire flies in a wide mouthed canning jar, but with the added adrenaline rush of a possible venomous strike from a Water Moccasin.
With Spring coming early in Minnesota this year, especially for the southern half of the state, if you were near one of our many lakes, rivers, or ponds, you could hear the frogs croaking in March. That’s a rare phenomenon for us because we typically still have snow pack in March. But, sick with cabin fever, and taking a cue from the cold blooded amphibious hoppers, we bipedal uprights from the North threw open windows and doors and began warming ourselves in the sunshine of sidewalk coffee shops, patio brewpubs and doing a little croaking of our own.
During one such a bone warming occasion Paula and Kristie, both professional and sporting women relocated to Minnesota, (one originally from southeastern Tennessee and the other from rural Kentucky), shared with me their individual Finn and Sawyer-like tales of high adventure bull frog giggin’ in the mosquito infested, mucky, boot-sucking swamps of their knobby-kneed Southern youth.
As the three of us thawed, (absorbing the the radiating warmth from the brewhouse patio stones and sampling the drafts), Paula and Kristie’s rich, comedic southern storytelling left me laughing out loud. The bull frogs from their youth grew bigger, fantastical bare-handed grabs more acrobatic, mosquito welts mountainous in proportion, and near death experiences from pit viper Water Moccasins epic. It also inspired a lollipopped frog legs recipe served up three ways sure to satisfy spirited frog giggers and firefly catchers alike.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Frog Leg Lollipops:
Frog Legs-(skinned, and “lollipopped". Here's how to do it.)
¼ lb slab bacon-cubed
½ Cup cornstarch
½ Cup flour
¼ teaspoon Cayene pepper (more or less as preferred)
Micro greens for plating
Sauces for tossing: (Store bought or made from scratch)
Buttermilk Ranch, or Blue Cheese sauce for dipping
#1 Heat about 1 inch of oil in cast iron skillet.
#2 Toss legs, cubed bacon, flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, cayenne in a large bowl. Note: Adding cornstarch in a 1:1 ratio with a flour dredge makes for a much crispier coating on any deep fried food.
#3 Toss to coat well.
#4 Gently place the legs in the hot oil.
#5 When the legs are getting golden, lay in the bacon cubes.
#6 Carefully lift out the legs and bacon bites, drain for a moment, and then divide and coat with the three sauces. Here’s barbeque.
#7 Buffalo…my personal favorite
#8 …And Teriyaki
#6 Plate up for your guests, crack a craft beer, and enjoy.