Let's just say my diet as an adult is drastically different than the diet I had as a kid growing up in North Carolina. Don't get me wrong, I have nostalgia for the fried chicken, cornbread, overcooked beans, and sweet tea that I had in my youth, but haven't eaten most of that in many years.
But sometimes, I get the urge to eat something from my childhood.
Like the other night. I was making crab cakes with tartar sauce and decided that we absolutely had to have hushpuppies to go with them. Those little fried bits of dough that I always ate with my fried calabash shrimp as a kid. When done right, they are just the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and really quick to make.
Note: You can add corn kernels in addition to the cornmeal, and add diced onion instead of onion powder, but I make these the way I remember them, which is with no hint of vegetables in them.
Makes about 24 Tablespoon sized puppies
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp onion powder (or 1/2 of an onion, finely chopped)
1/4-1/2 cup milk
1. Fill a heavy bottomed pan or pot with about 2"-3" of canola oil (you want the oil to cover the hushpuppies when you drop them in). Start heating the oil over medium heat.
2. Prepare the dough. In a bowl, mix the flour, corn meal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and onion powder with a whisk until combined. Add the milk, starting with 1/4 cup. Mix in just to combine, the dough should hold together when formed into spoon sized balls. (Only add more milk if needed.)
3. Drop spoonfuls of the dough into the oil and allow to fry, untouched, for about 5 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from oil with a strainer and put on a paper towel lined sheet to drain.
These don't keep well, so only make what you'll eat.
nikkiOctober 4, 2012 at 7:06 am
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone mention Calabash shrimp. And certainly not outside of my family. My grandfather always insisted that we drive up to Calabash for dinner when the family was together in the summers. And the restaurants had endless baskets of hush puppies on every table.
This recipe looks great. I need to get over my fear frying so I can enjoy these.
Candace KozlowskiOctober 4, 2012 at 8:08 am
I’m so excited to try these!! Do you think that I’d be able to substitute the flour for something gluten free? I hate that I would have to mess with the recipe, as this gluten allergy is a huge bummer but I really want to make these!! They look so good!
AngelaOctober 4, 2012 at 8:34 am
Does the dough keep well if frozen? My fiance loves these, and I may just have to try my hand at them for a surprise some day, but I don’t see us eating a full 24 of them at once! I can always halve the recipe of course, but if the dough keeps decently, I may just make a full recipe and then freeze half for a quick hushpuppy fix.
tammieOctober 4, 2012 at 10:11 am
hahaha blair! i had to laugh when you said “no hint of vegetables in them”…. i’m from north carolina and i remember hushpuppies the same exact way!
Emily GrosseOctober 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm
Ooh! I’ve been hunting for a good recipe — too many out there and not sure who to trust, you know? Well, your recipe wins 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
martyOctober 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm
Love hushpuppies. I’m on a quest for the best spoon bread recipe. Maybe you have one?
blair/wisecraftOctober 6, 2012 at 8:55 am
Thanks Nikki! This is the perfect recipe to get you over fear of frying. I only used a little oil, and it was all quick and easy (not messy). Enjoy!
blair/wisecraftOctober 6, 2012 at 8:56 am
Candace, I think it would be very interesting to experiment with a gluten-free version of these, surprised someone hasn’t thought of that. With all the available flour subs I am sure its possible.
blair/wisecraftOctober 6, 2012 at 8:57 am
Angela, I’ve never tried to freeze the dough, but its worth a try. Although I know that milk doesn’t particularly like to be frozen in my experience. You could also reduce the recipe, although if you’re anything like our family, 24 goes quickly! : D
blair/wisecraftOctober 6, 2012 at 8:58 am
Spoken like a true North Carolinian!
blair/wisecraftOctober 6, 2012 at 8:59 am
Thanks Emily! As I said, you could certainly make these slightly more healthier (and probably even more delicious) with real veggies, but I know as a kid I had zero interest in that ; D. Enjoy!
blair/wisecraftOctober 6, 2012 at 8:59 am
I’ll have to work on that one! : D
P FlooersOctober 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm
I was happily scrolling down your blog when I hit this post. I looked at the pictures and said to myself—gosh, those look like hushpuppies. And they were! I’m sitting in NC at the moment, fondly remembering sunburned dinners in Calabash, hushpuppies without veggies, fried shrimp, and the next day icies on the beach for a quarter. Remember those? Back in the days before air conditioning and automatic ice machines.
Ahhhh, North Myrtle Beach, otherwise known as Windy Hill. I can vaguely remember my Grandmother working crochet grannie squares in the afternoon doldrums. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
MikeOctober 10, 2012 at 7:25 am
My mom use to make me hush puppies although she called them puffy balls. I personally like the name hush puppies better. Man they were good. She used olive oil through instead of canola oil as she felt it was healthier.