Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I'll have you know that that kid Russ's mama has a recipe for hush puppies that is to die for.

We ate a lot of cornmeal based foods when I was growing up because corn meal was cheap. In fact,we could even take grain to the local mill and have it ground into flour, meal, livestock feed,etc. Cornbread or biscuits were almost always served at any meal I attended at many houses in the neighborhood. They were usually pretty good too, although I preferred the lighter tasting hush puppies. Eaten fresh out of the fryer, they practically melted in your mouth. Here is my recipe:Ingredients:2 cups yellow corn meal, 1 cup plain flour (flour is what gave it the lighter taste and you can experiment with the amount you use if you want) 2 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk (you can also use plain milk in a pinch, but nothing compares to buttermilk) 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt. I use Lowreys but just about any brand will work as you are just looking for something to spice things up a little 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper blend (again, the idea is to spice things up a little).1 teaspoon baking powder 2/3 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 cup bacon grease. This is another big key to the flavor. In a pinch you can use other types of cooking oil, but bacon is my favorite.You also need some type of cooking oil to deep fry these in. I usually use Crisco oil although peanut oiland some of the lower fat oils work well too. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add your eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Stir it all up until the flavors are thoroughly blended. Turn your cooker on medium-high heat. When it's hot you can drop your hush puppies in using a table spoon. Allow them to brown on all sides.They should begin floating when done, but if they don't, don't overcook them.Serve as a side dish with just about any meal. I loved eating them with fried fish or fresh chopped or pulled pork barbecue. Most of the local resturants add them as a standard feature when you buy plate meals.After getting to Titusville's Rock Shrimp Mecca, I visited a restaurant that also added yellow corn to their hush puppies and a touch of sugar. If you want to give this a try, precook the corn, but don't overcook it. Use 3/4 cups in the recipe above. On top of that add 2 table spoons of white sugar. The recipe at the restaurant in Titusville is so popular that customers often order side orders to take home. I always thought that it tasted pretty good.You can also store this mixture in the refrigerator for a day or so if you are only cooking for a smallergroup. Before cooking let it reach near room temperature.

Let's eat.

Soul food from the depth of the St. Johns. Yup.