It all started circa 1996 in Arkansas. My love for hushpuppies.
For a number of years, my whole huge family would meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas for a family reunion. Each year, we would go to the Catfish Hole (and IHOP, no biggy) where we were served an endless supply of hushpuppies. Bottomless hushpuppies? Don’t mind if I do.
Out here on the west side of the country, hushpuppies are nowhere to be found. They have to be imported from states that have the recipe down pat like Arkansas and North Carolina. I can’t for the life of me figure out why hushpuppies aren’t a thing over here. Do you know? I’d willingly trade a sweet potato fry for a hushpuppy. and. that’s. saying. something.
In the last six weeks or so, Garrett’s family and I have whipped up three batches of puppies. One batch came from a mix I brought back from my last trip to North Carolina, one batch came from Heather Christo’s Goat Cheese Hush Puppy recipe (which was DEELISH!), and the most recent batch was a free-handed pretty classical approach to the puppy. I tend to enjoy a more cornmealy hushpuppy but if you don’t, simply scale down the cornmeal and amp up the flour. It never hurts to experiment. Also, classic hushpuppies have a finely chopped yellow onion in the recipe, but we had green onion on hand, so that’s what I used. A yellow onion would be wonderful too.
- 2 cups cornmeal fine grain
- ¾ cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 3 stalks green onion finely chopped
- 1 cup buttermilk or cream
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Add the onion, buttermilk and eggs to the dry mixture and mix until combined.
In a saucepan, heat about 3 – 4 cups of canola oil to 350 degrees.
Using your hands, form balls (about a tablespoon worth of dough works great) and carefully drop them in the hot oil with a heat resistant spoon. The oil should bubble around the hushpuppies and should naturally turn them in circles, evenly cooking them and creating a nice crispy outside. This only takes a minute or two or until golden brown/desired level of crisp. Fry 3 or 4 at a time so that the puppies have plenty of space.
Serve with burgers and eat leftovers with jam for breakfast the next day.