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Hush Puppies


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So this is the first hush puppy thread!

For the uninitiated, e.g., people who concentrate on

Escoffier, 'hush puppies' are roughly convex hunks, a little

smaller than a golf ball, of corn meal, much like corn bread,

with onion and other flavors, deep fried, great with butter,

and often served with fried seafood.

I remember pigging out on hush puppies with scallops in

Maryland and with whatever as a child in Jacksonville.

Now, to recapitulate those good times of the past, I seek more

hush puppies!

My first effort is essentially:

1 C yellow corn meal

1/4 C all purpose flour

1 T baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/2 t Cayenne pepper powder

2/3 C chopped yellow onion

1/2 C milk

1 large egg

water as necessary to make appropriate viscosity

Recipe is 'robust' -- variations also work.

Mix first five ingredients. Add onion and mix.

Beat egg, add milk, and mix. Add to dry ingredients and mix.

Add water if necessary to give a very thick batter or a very

wet dough.

Get the cold beer ready, if it is not already!

So, don't have to make a special trip for buttermilk!

Cooks from Tennessee not expected to wear shoes!

To cook, get deep fryer ready at about 350 F.

Dip a soup spoon in the hot oil. With a second soup spoon,

get a big glob of the dough/batter, and transfer to the oiled

spoon. Transfer the glob to the hot oil. Repeat. Cook for

about 3 minutes.

Drain.

Serve with butter: Slice in half. Top with a slice of

butter. Eat.

Follow with fried seafood, beer, and another hush puppy.

Better recipes?

For recipes that call for buttermilk, baking soda, and baking

powder, any easy way also to use just whole milk?

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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This is all you need to know:

3 cups self-rising white cornmeal (available in the baking aisle of most large supermarkets)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 diced small Vidalia onion

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat

Sea salt

Combine dry ingredients and onions. Form a well in the center. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and pour into the well. Stir until flours are just moistened. Heat a deep-fat fryer or large pot of vegetable oil to 340 degrees. Drop batter into fat from a large spoon, or scoop batter using an ice-cream scooper. Fry for about 1.5 minutes per side, turning when golden brown. Remove from fryer and drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt and serve while hot.

Tested and approved by many, many people here at eG. (The recipe is in RecipeGullet, but rG seems to be down right now.)

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Ooh, I haven't had a good hushpuppy in quite some time. I like chopped green onions (tops & white parts), as well as a little bacon grease in the batter, some chopped fresh parsley, and a whole lotta black & red pepper. My one hard and fast hushpuppy rule is NO SUGAR. Best when served with fried speckled trout and homemade tartar sauce.

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OH, I love them.

Try substituing beer for a portion of the liquid. I prefer chopped yellow onion, but very fine. Mustard powder is never a bad thing.

As far as stir ins:

sliced Okra

Corn (as Chris Suggested_

Seranno Pepper slices

Any pepper slices for that matter, sliced small

grated cheese

Two teaspons for portioning, and they flip themselves.

Not to go all "Escoffier" on you or anything. :biggrin:

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When I was growing up what you call Hush Puppies were called Corn Fritters by both my Ky. family and my Missouri German in laws. My folks called a [usually about 3" round] corn meal pancake a Hush Puppy but insisted that to be a proper Hush Puppy, it must be fried in the left over grease that the fish were fried in.

Mom used lard back then and I loved the pancakes or Hush Puppies. Haven't ever cooked them myself.

Robert

Seattle

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This is all you need to know:

3 cups self-rising white cornmeal (available in the baking aisle of most large supermarkets)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 diced small Vidalia onion

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat

Sea salt

Combine dry ingredients and onions. Form a well in the center. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and pour into the well. Stir until flours are just moistened. Heat a deep-fat fryer or large pot of vegetable oil to 340 degrees. Drop batter into fat from a large spoon, or scoop batter using an ice-cream scooper. Fry for about 1.5 minutes per side, turning when golden brown. Remove from fryer and drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt and serve while hot.

Tested and approved by many, many people here at eG.

Do you really mean baking powder, not soda?

Being a California girl, I was not raised with a tradition of Hushpuppies. The first I tasted were at Long John Silver's and I thought they were disgusting dough balls.

Then I needed to make them at work and used Paul Prudhommes recipe. A real revelation.

They are seasoned with green onion, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, oregano, and garlic. I actually prefer them without the garlic, though.

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malawry--would it be OK to use reconstituted buttermilk powder, or would it be better to use milk soured with vinegar, or yoghurt? In Japan I don't have access to buttermilk, but I just picked up some Saco (Sacco?) buttermilk powder to bring back to JP with me, so I could use that or one of the other usual substitutes.

I love hush puppies (anything fried is good, but fried cornmeal is even better!), and am hoping to make some when I get back home!

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malawry--would it be OK to use reconstituted buttermilk powder, or would it be better to use milk soured with vinegar, or yoghurt?  In Japan I don't have access to buttermilk, but I just picked up some Saco (Sacco?) buttermilk powder to bring back to JP with me, so I could use that or one of the other usual substitutes.

I love hush puppies (anything fried is good, but fried cornmeal is even better!), and am hoping to make some when I get back home!

I don't have an answer for you, because I haven't tried the pups with any of the alternative forms of dairy you suggest. Whatever you end up using, try to make a full-fat version. I usually make the pups with whole-milk buttermilk and it results in a creamier mouthfeel than fat-free buttermilk, which I only used once.

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We just made corndogs a few weeks ago with hushpuppy batter and they were AWESOME. I can't even remember which recipe I used, but there were onions and buttermilk.

At my summer camp when I was a kid, they always put a little Kool-Aid in the batter. It was good, and I grew up thinking Kool-Aid was an authentic hushpuppy ingredient. I would never do that now!

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I don't have access to proper American cornmeal here in Australia... how would I go with polenta? I know, it's not the same, but it's the closest substitute I can think of.

I also can get hold of a bag of dry masa (the dried/ground flour used to make corn tortillas) but again, not sure if that's quite right.

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I don't think masa would work the same way, since the corn has been soaked in lye. Although I understand that hominy (and masa) have a much higher nutritional value -- since the lye eats away at the undigestible parts of the kernel.

Anyway, I digress.

I wonder whether you could grind your polenta finely in either a morter and pestal or food processor. Might work. This thread has been a treat to read. Growing up in rural TX, we always had hush puppies with fried catfish. This past weekend, we had hush puppies with steamed crab on the Chesapeake Bay.

Might have to try making them myself one of these days. Thanks for the recipes and ideas.

RD

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Earlier this year I had a fantastic feed of grouper, stone crab and alligator at a place in Florida - I'll say Placida or Englewood - and I asked the server "what the hell are these"?

Exposed as a northern tourist I followed up with "they're f***ing perfect"! And they were, for that meal.

That was my first and last encounter with hush puppies. So I'll be reading this topic with great interest. :smile:

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Malawry's recipe has become my standard for making pups!

I've used milk soured with vinegar and it worked fine. I also once used some of the buttermilk powder, but mixed it with lowfat milk instead of water. That also worked fine.

I think I even did them with just plain milk and they were acceptable.

I can never get anything but low-fat buttermilk. Didn't know there was any other kind!

Last summer, at the beach, I didn't have any flour. So, I did it with just the SR cornmeal mix, leaving out the flour and baking powder. Not as good, but still acceptable.

A good friend puts a can of stewed tomatoes in his. Weird, but good!

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malawry--would it be OK to use reconstituted buttermilk powder, or would it be better to use milk soured with vinegar, or yoghurt?  In Japan I don't have access to buttermilk, but I just picked up some Saco (Sacco?) buttermilk powder to bring back to JP with me, so I could use that or one of the other usual substitutes.

I love hush puppies (anything fried is good, but fried cornmeal is even better!), and am hoping to make some when I get back home!

I use half milk/half yogurt with a whack of vinegar in the mix all of the time, for just about everything. It works, and no one ever complains with their mouth full. So it must be ok

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, kept working on hush puppies.

Kept it simple, kept working on a simple recipe, and took it to what seems about as far as it will go. I regard the effort on this simple approach as done.

Below I describe what I concluded and have in my notes the next time I want hush puppies.

Since the recipe is simple, there is no buttermilk, bacon fat, scallion, baking soda, beer, etc. All these clearly have promise but need more study than I have done so far.

The good news: (1) it's simple and (2) there's a LOT of flavor.

The bad news: Mostly have to mix up a batch of the dough (batter), cook it all, and eat it all, right away. The dough and cooked hush puppies do not keep well even overnight.

Good news about my notes: They are explicit. The measurements were all carefully done and 'level'.

Ingredients:

1 T baking powder

1 t salt

1 T Cayenne pepper (e.g., Tone's from Sam's Club)

1/2 C all purpose flour

1 C yellow corn meal

1 C yellow corn meal

2 USDA Grade A Large eggs

1/2 C whole milk

1/2 C whole milk

1/4 C whole milk (if needed)

12 ounces of finely diced yellow globe onion

1 1/2 quarts or more cooking oil for deep frying

butter

Steps:

In 2 quart stainless steel bowl, add

1 T baking powder

1 t salt

1 T Cayenne pepper

With back of a spoon, crush lumps. With wire whip, thoroughly mix. Add

1/2 C all purpose flour

With wire whip, thoroughly mix. Add

1 C yellow corn meal

With wire whip, thoroughly mix. Add

1 C yellow corn meal

With wire whip, thoroughly mix.

In 300 ml Pyrex bowl (or something similar), add

2 USDA Grade A Large eggs

Beat eggs. To eggs, add

1/2 C whole milk

and mix.

Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix with wire whip.

Add

1/2 C whole milk

and mix thoroughly with wire whip.

If dough is too dry to hold together, add some or all of

1/4 C whole milk

and mix with wire whip.

Add

12 ounces of finely diced yellow globe onion.

Mix by cutting down and into the dough with a large, solid cooking spoon and folding.

In a 300 ml Pyrex bowl, put a few T of cold oil.

Get deep fryer ready.

Position deep fat thermometer in the oil.

Heat oil to 360 F. During the cooking, try to keep the oil temperature between 350 and 360 F.

For one hush puppy, dip 1/4 C Foley stainless steel measuring cup or equivalent in the cold oil to give a thin coating of oil on the metal and, with the large cooking spoon, pack dough to a level 1/4 C or a little less.

With fingers low and outside the pot of oil and out of the way of any hot oil splash, invert the 1/4 C bowl over the oil and tap with the spoon to release dough.

Cook up to 6 hush puppies at once for 3 minutes or a little more. Remove cooked hush puppies from oil using a slotted cooking spoon.

Drain hush puppies on white cotton towel folded to four layers. Lightly salt.

Each hush puppy will be nicely brown and crispy on the outside with some aroma of fried onions and like corn bread with onion and Cayenne pepper flavor on the inside.

To eat one hush puppy, slice in half and apply to cut surface a thin slice of butter.

They are full of flavor and filling.

Notes:

Dip the 1/4 C stainless steel measuring cup in COLD oil. If use hot oil, then the dough will cook on, stick to, and coat the measuring cup. Then after just a few hush puppies, will have to clean the measuring cup.

The 1/4 C measuring cup makes hush puppies of about the right size or a little too large. Curiously but pleasantly, even with the roughly cylindrical 1/4 C measure, the shape of the hush puppies is a good approximation to a sphere. Do not want them bigger; 1/3 C of the dough per hush puppy is TOO MUCH.

There is a BIG problem with salt: The dough DOES need salt, and 1 T (that I tried) of salt DOES taste good but DOES very much pull water from the onion and soon makes the dough too wet and makes left over hush puppies soggy. But, as I also tried, no salt in the dough makes the flavor TOO FLAT. Salting on the outside helps but is not enough. So in the recipe above, the 1 t of salt in the dough is a compromise -- enough salt to help the flavor but not so much as to pull water from the onions rapidly.

Still, even with just the 1 t of salt in the dough, if let dough rest in refrigerator overnight, then it will be nearly too wet and loose to use. For dough stored in the refrigerator overnight, having the dough fully cold when dropped into the hot oil can help the dough be more stiff and, thus, maybe still usable.

Basically the next day, the dough and any cooked hush puppies will be too wet. So, have to mix the dough, cook the hush puppies, and eat them all quickly.

About as good as can be expected from such a simple dish.

The huge amount of onion is not excessive.

If thoroughly mix the Cayenne pepper, then it is not too strong.

Edited by project (log)

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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  • 9 months later...

Escoffier has several recipes for croquettes and for fritters, although none directly involving cornmeal. The one that caught my eye, which I must try is for strawberry fritters (strawberries, fried in batter). He adds "It is most essential that the strawberries be well sugared because the heat of the fat sours them while the fritters are being fried and the consequently become tart".

I guess the closest he comes to hush puppies is

2453 Various croquettes

Croquettes may also be made from tapioca, semolina, vermicelli or fresh noodles etc, in which case the procedure is that of Rice Croquettes

2452 Rice Croquettes

Make a rice preparation as directed under 2404 Divide it up into 2oz portions , which may be moulded to the shape of fruit such as pears apples, apricots etc; treat these a l'Anglaise (egg and breadcrumb, deep fry), like the chestnut croquettes and fry them in the same way

I won't bore you with the rice preparation, but basically its sweet rice ( 1lb short grain rice, 2 pints milk, 10oz sugar, 2 oz butter) cohered with 16 egg yolks

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Which book by Escoffier?

I have only

A. Escoffier, 'Le Guide Culinaire: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery', Translated by H. L. Cracknell and R. J. Kaufmann, ISBN 0-8317-5478-8, Mayflower, New York, 1982.

A. Escoffier, 'Escoffier's Basic Elements of Fine Cookery Including Sauces and 'Garnishes', Crown Publishers, New York, 1941.

The first of these two has

4405 Various Croquettes

on page 525.

You quoted Georges Auguste with

"Divide it up into 2oz portions, ..."

Hmm .... His 2 oz is essentially the same as my 1/4 C. Gee, is it common for similarly great minds to come to similar conclusions!!?? :wink:

For my picture above, I used a Foley stainless steel measuring cup, with nearly cylindrical shape, and capacity 1/4 C, full. Why stainless steel instead of, say, plastic? Because when I drop the raw quantity into the hot fat, the cup gets near the fat, and plastic might be damaged by a splash of the fat. When the fat splashes on my hand, I recover!

My picture shows that the resulting hush puppy comes out about as spherical as could hope. So, apparently the baking powder pushes from the inside and some effect much like surface tension squeezes from the outside. Or, the areas on the surface with less curvature do better conducting heat to the interior where the baking powder and steam cause expansion and, thus, push a less curved surface to one more curved! Ah, sometimes good physics starts with intuition!

So, at least with my cornmeal mix, Georges's

"moulded to the shape of fruit such as pears apples, apricots etc"

would be wasted labor!

Yes, my hush puppy recipe has some chance of being right up to date on the 'frontier of cooking' some decades or hundreds of years before Escoffier!

Georges's "strawberry fritters" with "well sugared" strawberries sound good but not so good with the fish of British fish and chips, and I use hush puppies essentially only with such fish or other seafood. The last batch of hush puppies went with 1 pound of nice scallops.

While the scallops were edible, I did them no big favors: I sauteed them with 4 T of butter and about 3 T of minced garlic and then made a sauce from 1/2 C of lemon juice and 1/2 C of whipping cream. I needed to reduce the sauce MUCH more than I did.

Next time I'll lightly flour the scallops, saute them with just a little olive oil, remove the scallops, add butter and garlic, cook the garlic, then add cream and lemon juice or white wine, maybe this pair already reduced a LOT.

Georges's claim that fat "sours" strawberries in a way that sugar could correct sounds amazing: The hot fat lowers the pH?

But Georges noticed that mushroom skins enhance flavors. Amazing: His experience anticipated what was eventually confirmed by mushroom skins being a source of monosodium glutamate! So, tough to doubt what he says about sour strawberries!

Yes, the strawberry fritters could use a sauce. May I suggest crème Anglaise, sabayon, zabaglione, or even chocolate, and with some flutes of chilled Asti? It would also help if she looked like Yvette Mimieux, especially in the floral decorated skirt, in the 1962 'Light in the Piazza'!

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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My family moved to Maryland when I was ten, and I lived there off and on through college. I was taught by locals to use Old Bay Seasoning in hush puppies.

Old Bay sounds good! Likely more appropriate than the cayenne

pepper I'm using!

Maryland? Much of our time in Maryland we lived in Laurel,

drove north for our educations at the Homewood campus of

Hopkins while I also drove south or west to make money!

While I had some hush puppies when less than 6 in

Jacksonville, most of the hush puppies I've eaten were from

Maryland. We'd go to some moderately priced seafood places,

and I'd pig out on deep fried scallops, baskets of hush

puppies, some coleslaw, and some beer!

My best recipe for hush puppies, above, is not just the same

as what I had in Maryland, but I don't know what would be.

Old Bay instead of cayenne might get the recipe closer. Got

some more ideas?

Uh, I don't think that Escoffier knew much about Maryland hush

puppies! :wink:

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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My parents live in the west, and I attended college in naptown for a couple of years.

I tend to like dicing the onion very fine, and about half of it superfine -so that some of it disappears into the batter. I tend to use a white onion, mostly because my husband is touchy and doesn't always like it when red onion changes color. But, I'd experiment with different types of onions.

I suspect that most places use just one deep fryer, so maybe, you need to fry some fish or other seafood in the oil before sending the hushpuppies in....

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  • 1 year later...

One of my accounts has asked that I make some hush puppies for them to include in a bread basket for an event on Saturday evening.

This means frying to order is out of the question, since I would be delivering their order (which includes other things besides the hush puppies) on Friday evening or some time on Saturday afternoon.

I think this means I have to pretend and use a baked version that they can reheat (we don't have a fryolator in our kitchen and there's too much going on on both days to mess with frying them).

So, are there any decent recipes for a baked hush puppy?

Thanks in advance....

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