Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I made homemade hushpuppies for the first time today. Now, sadly what I expected was a dense ball of seasoned, fried cornmeal. What I got were airy puffs with a slightly crisp outer shell. Also, they weren't round. I expected them to be round. Apparently I've only ever eaten hushpuppies from fast food restaurants...is this true? I'm waiting for a rebuke to come tumbling out of my memory stores, but it's not happening. Huh. Really? Wow. The recipe I made was sent to me by CooksCountry/America's Test Kitchen. A while back I signed up to be a home recipe tester...this is the latest one to try. I believe the mechanics of it are that the recipes are tested and prodded in their kitchens first (how I'd love to have that job...seriously, I would), then sent out to X number of home testers. I anxiously await the arrival of new "test" recipes to my inbox. Funny how the mind works, but as I was frying these hushpuppies...I smelled fish. I didn't even have any fish in the house. So, I'm guessing...memory association? I will make them as part of a meal next time...probably including fish. I think they'd be good dipped in a lemony aioli or in malt vinegar. HUSHPUPPIES recipe from CooksCountry/America's Test Kitchen Yield: ~25 Both white and yellow cornmeal will work here but avoid coarsely ground cornmeal, it will make the hushpuppies too gritty. Be sure to let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes before frying. The batter thickens slightly as it rests, making for more cohesive hushpuppies. ¾ cup cornmeal ½ cup all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¾ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper ¾ cup buttermilk 2 large eggs ¼ cup minced onion 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil 1. MAKE BATTER Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cayenne in large bowl. Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and onion until combined. Let batter sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or up to 1 hour. 2. FRY HUSHPUPPIES Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Drop half of batter in heaping tablespoons into oil and fry until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, turning hushpuppies halfway through cooking. Transfer to wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet and repeat with remaining batter. Serve. (Hushpuppies can be refrigerated in airtight container for 2 days. Reheat in 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes.) Hushpuppy is a fun word to say, isn't it? Hushpuppy. HUSHPUPPY! The only thing I will change next time is the seasoning. I'm not sure exactly how yet, but I'll work it out. Any suggestions?