Robert S. Cooper
Does anyone not love hushpuppies? Everyone I know is crazy for these deep-fried cornmeal cakes, and I am too. I like them very crunchy on the outside and light on the inside. Sometimes they can be real sinkers. Not these. They have beer in them, which makes them lighter. Use an electric fryer with a basket or a Dutch oven with a fry basket to make them (see Notes).
Some people dip their hushpuppies into all sorts of things, like tartar sauce and soft butter, but I don’t.
Excerpted from A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen, © 2015 by Dora Charles. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
If you can’t find stoneground white cornmeal, just use whatever you can find—white or yellow, self-rising or not. They all work just fine, but if you use self-rising cornmeal, skip the baking powder and the salt.
- 1 1/2 Cup stone-ground white cornmeal
- 1/2 Cup self-rising flour
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Cup sour cream
- 1/2 Cup beer (not dark)
- 1/2 Cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Vegetable oil or lard, for frying
Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, then add the sour cream, beer, onion, garlic, and parsley and mix together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix everything together well with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix, which would toughen the hushpuppies. The batter will be thick. Let it sit, covered, in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Shortly before you’re ready to fry, pour the oil into a deep-fryer or Dutch oven to a depth of at least 3 inches. Heat to 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. To form the puppies, you can use a ½-tablespoon measure (the size I like), or a small ice cream scoop (1½ tablespoons). Have ready a cup of water to clean off any leftover batter from the spoon or scoop before the next pup goes in, as well as a bowl lined with paper towels.
When the oil is ready, drop in the fry basket and, one by one, drop the puppies into the basket, cleaning the spoon or scoop in the water as you go. The pups will usually turn themselves right over to cook their other side. If they don’t, shake the basket to encourage them. When they’re nice and crisp on the outside and a deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, pull out the basket and drain the pups in the paper towel–lined bowl and start the next batch. Serve as fast as you can.