Spicy Hush Puppies!

June 27, 2014

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Did someone say Hush Puppies?!! Be still my heart! How I do love those Hush Puppies! And if you’re contemplating making up a big batch of that delicious Carolina Pulled Pork I just told you about for your Independence Day celebrations, these Hush Puppies would be fantastic served right alongside those tasty little sliders. Your party will be the talk of the town! For you folks out there who might not know what a Hush Puppy is, (and I’m not sure where in the world you’ve been hanging out…) a Hush Puppy is basically a ball of cornmeal batter which has been deep-fried. They are often served along side fried seafood dishes or with barbecued foods. Now there are numerous legends about how they got their name. They seem to all involve some group of folks, be they Southern hunters, fisherman, civil war soldiers or cooks, taking a cornmeal mixture which they had been using as battering for whatever food they were cooking, deep-frying it and giving to their barking dogs to get them to quiet down while uttering “Hush Puppy!” as they tossed the tasty little morsels over to them. It actually works too. You will see the truth of it when you serve up a big basket of them at your house. Folks will be so busy chowing down, you won’t hear a peep out of them!

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Hush Puppies are very easy to make. I will mention a couple of pointers that I think will be handy. Make sure you add enough oil to your Dutch Oven. You need to have enough to entirely cover the Hush Puppies as they fry. And take care to get that oil up to 375°F before you start frying and that it returns to that temperature between batches. If the oil is not hot enough when you fry, your puppies will be greasy. I don’t add any sugar into my batter, preferring a savoury, spicy puppy. But if you’re one of those folks that love sweet cornbread, you probably want to add some sugar into this mix. I also like to use the TexMex Grilled Corn (recipe found below) in my Hush Puppies. I think it adds a bit more kick to them.

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However, I have made them in the winter when I wasn’t keen to go out and grill up some corn and have found that canned corn works quite well in a pinch. Believe me, you will find that these little devils are addictive… soft and spicy on the inside with a satisfying crunchy exterior. Try some today and you’ll be hooked!

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Spicy Hush Puppies!

  • Servings: 28-34 puppies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal
  • 1  cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional – if you prefer a sweeter puppy, add 1 -2 tablespoons to mix. I do not add any sugar to my mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño pepper
  • 1 cup corn (best if you use TexMex Grilled Corn, scroll down for recipe, but regular yellow corn from a tin will work :) )
  • Oil for frying (I prefer peanut oil, but vegetable oil if fine)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the self-rising cornmeal, self-rising flour, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and sugar if you are using it. In a large glass measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk, egg, grated onion and bacon dripping. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients to the dry. Stir together until the dry ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold the diced jalapeños and grilled corn into the hush puppy batter. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour until mixture has risen.

Place a 6 qt. Dutch oven on the stove. Pour enough oil into it so that it reaches 2″ up the sides. Heat oil until it reaches a temperature of 375°F. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop or two kitchen spoons, drop small rounds of batter into the oil. Do not crowd the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally and flipping halfway through, until golden on the outside and crisp, about 3 -4 minutes. Remove hush puppies from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with tartar sauce, honey, butter, remoulade, etc. or just use them to mop up any extra barbecue sauce that might be lurking about.  Your choice!

TexMex Grilled Corn

Ingredients:

  • 3 -4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes, then cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Spicy Hush Puppies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 


Layered Cornbread Salad

May 10, 2012

So while we’re on the subject of backyard cookouts, I thought I’d share this fantastic recipe for Layered Cornbread Salad. It is just the perfect, refreshingly cold side dish to go along with all of your grilled offerings on these hot summer days quickly heading our way. It’s also  great served along with fried chicken. And this southern dish is also quite popular at potluck dinners, should you have any of those you’re heading off to. Heck, it’s pretty much just fabulous all the time! Not only is it beautiful to look at when perched on your dinner table, what with all those colorful layers, but it is also delicious!

And it is easy to put together. Now mind you, there is a bit of chopping to be done and you might have to bake a batch of cornbread, if you don’t have any leftovers hanging around. (My husband is snickering a the thought of “leftover cornbread”, but I’m sure it could happen in some other folks homes.) All your efforts will payoff when folks start to gobbling this salad down and singing your praises all the while.

Layered Cornbread Salad

recipe from: Mississippi Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6-8 ounce) package cornbread mix, cooked according to package instructions and cooled (or your favorite recipe of cornbread)
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 head torn iceberg lettuce or 2 heads Romaine lettuce chopped (or you can substitute a bag of torn lettuce)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can shoepeg or yellow corn, drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Colby jack, Mexican blend, cheddar, etc.)
  • one lime
Directions:
Crumble cornbread into fine crumbs; set aside.
Stir together the mayonnaise, chili powder, salt, and chopped cilantro, if desired.
In a 4-quart glass bowl or trifle dish, place half of the lettuce, then sprinkle with half of the cornbread crumbs.  Spread half of the mayonnaise mixture on the cornbread layer.  Layer half each of the corn, black beans, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. Squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
Enjoy!

Cheddar & Cilantro Cornbread Muffins

January 17, 2012

Yum! Cornbread Muffins! And these are made ever so much better by the addition of fresh cilantro and big chunks of cheddar cheese! This cornbread is very moist, a little sweet, but not like some of the really sweet Southern cornbread you may have come across. Delicious all on its own, but completely awesome slathered in butter with a big bowl of chili! I baked these muffins to go along with the Gringo Chili we served up a short time ago. You can also make this cornbread in a 9×9 pan, if you prefer. This recipe is highly customizable as far as ingredients go as well. Substitute any add-ins you wish. I did cheddar and cilantro, but you could add in bacon, chives, green onions etc. Let your imagination run wild! Just remember you may have to increase the baking time by 5 minutes or so with each addition. When I make corn muffins, I like the exterior of the muffin to be really crispy. A good way to achieve that texture is by oiling a cast iron pan or muffin tin as the case may be and placing it into the preheated oven. Once the oiled pan is nice and hot, you add the batter into the hot pan and pop it back into the oven to bake. You can use any old oil, but I like to use reserved bacon grease. Yup….just like Grandma, I’m saving those bacon grease drippings and using them to cook with later. Unlike Grandma, I keep my bacon grease in the fridge, not just sitting next to the stove in a jar. (Now that was a bit scary if you ask me…) The bacon grease really does give things a wonderful flavour, and who doesn’t like bacon! I know some folks might be a bit freaked out by the old bacon grease trick, but hey, don’t knock it til you try it. Those Grannies were onto something. However, if you haven’t had a chance to cook up a batch of bacon (and this would give you an excuse, if you need one. Personally I believe it’s always a good time to cook up some bacon…) you can just use whatever oil you might have on hand. You will love that crispy exterior, I guarantee it! Make up a big batch today!

Cheddar & Cilantro Cornbread Muffins

yield: 12 muffins

recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3-4 oz. cheddar cheese, chopped into 1″ chunks
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon bacon grease or oil into each well of a muffin tin.

1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2) Stir in any desired herbs, cheese, corn kernels, or other flavorings.

3) In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and egg.

4) Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined. Remember, Now when making muffins, you don’t want to beat the batter to death. Mix it just until the ingredients are combined, otherwise your muffins will turn out tough.

5) Place prepared muffin tin into preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove tin.

6) Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop batter into the hot, oiled muffin tin.

7) Return pan to oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the pan and a cake tester or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

8) Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes; serve warm.


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