Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies made with Pepe Saya buttermilk

I’ve been intrigued by hush puppies ever since a friend who grew up in the South told me about them. He said that when the good old boys were sitting around the campfire at night after a day’s hunting, they’d drop bits of corn bread dough into hot oil to fry and throw it to their barking dogs with the command: “Hush puppies!” They’re a great side dish with anything saucy, though I enjoy them as a snack as well, especially dunked in Alabama white sauce, Cajun remoulade (see recipe video below) or comeback sauce! They’re the perfect way to use up buttermilk and cornmeal leftover from other recipes. You want the oil for frying hot enough that the puppies seal and sizzle but not so hot that they burn on the outside before they’re cooked on the inside; the easiest way to check is to fry a test one first.

Makes about 20

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 green onions, very finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Method
  1. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cayenne, oregano and pepper together.
  2. Add milk, egg and green onion and stir with a wooden spoon to combine well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat oil for deep-frying.
  5. Use 2 dessert spoons to form quenelles of the mixture and fry them in batches for about 3 minutes, until dark golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Drain on a rack over a paper towel-lined plate
  7. Pile onto a platter sprinkle generously with salt and serve hot.

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