From Cook's Country
Too much cornmeal made the hushpuppies dense and gritty, while too much flour made them cakey. After a handful of tests, we determined quantities that balanced these two extremes. For the liquid component, tasters preferred the slight tang of buttermilk to water and milk. Once we settled on buttermilk, it made sense to add baking soda. Not only did soda react with the acidic buttermilk to produce a lighter hushpuppy, but it also helped brown it for the requisite crunchy crust. Allowing the batter to rest at room temperature before frying gave it time to thicken.
Many recipes for called for frying the hushpuppies in lard. We opted for peanut or vegetable oil, which are far more likely to be on hand these days.
Makes about 25
Avoid coarsely ground cornmeal, which will make the hushpuppies gritty. If you don't have buttermilk, whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice into 3/4 milk and let it stand for 10 minutes.
- 3/4 cup cornmeal (see note)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (see note)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 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 into oil in heaping tablespoons 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.)
Bad Dog, Good Dog
All-cornmeal hushpuppies are dense and dry as a bone.
A TENDER PUP
A combination of flour and cornmeal produces hushpuppies that are crisp on the outside and tender within.