Talk about a conundrum. I made a big pot of chile for dinner and had nothing to serve with it. The cracker barrel was empty, the cupboard bare of goldfish, oyster crackers or otherwise and the freezer couldn't help either. Time was a wasting, hunger knawing and cornbread out of the question because it takes my new oven a minimum half hour to come to temperature and who really has the patience for that! Enter the lowly hush puppy aka fritter.
Now, as far as I'm concerned the names are inter changable although I'm pretty sure I'll get some flack from at least one of you, but whatever you want to call the piece of crispy fried dough on the right side of the chili bowl, I'm just going to call it good.
Prepped in the same amount of time it took for the oil to heat in a cast iron pan, the corn cakes came to life with mostly the same ingredients one would put in corn bread but with one subtle difference - I left out the corn kernels and added some salsa verde for added kick. Rather than deep frying the little beauties, they were shallow fried in about a half inch of oil, flipped after a minute then fried until golden on the other side.
There you go - crispy outside, moist and tender inside with a touch of spicy heat, these little "hush critters" were the perfect answer.
Salsa Verde Hush Puppies lfrom JBug’s Kitchen Antics inspired by Taste of Home)
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/3 cup Salsa Verde (I used Herdez)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Vegetable oil for frying
Fill a heavy bottom pan with approximately half in of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, pepper and salt and whisk to incorporate. In a small bowl beat egg, add Salsa Verde, onion and buttermilk and whisk to combine well. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix lightly with a fork until just combined. Mixture will be lumpy. Using a 2 ounce scoop, drop dough into hot oil and fry in batches until golden brown on each side – about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Makes approx. 1 dozen.