Makes: About 20
Coffee: Pure Black Cold Pressed Coffee
In a way, hushpuppies are like the savory version of New Orleans-style sweet beignets: both Southern and both deep-fried. That’s close enough for us. You can find hushpuppies at the many barbecue places throughout the South, but these crunchy cornmeal fritters were traditionally served with fried fish — in particular catfish. (The folklore is that hushpuppies even got their name because fishermen would toss them to the barking dogs so they’d hush up and not scare away the fish.)
Frying up hushpuppies takes about 3-inches of high smoke point oil (preferably peanut although canola will do) and a sturdy deep pot (like a 5.5-quart cast iron casserole) as the oil will froth up with the addition of moisture. The temperature of the oil and its stability are an important part of turning out great hushpuppies, as they work together to keep the exterior from burning before the interior is cooked through. We like to serve them up with barbecued chicken or ribs, or any other grill cooking with a southern vibe. Grab a cold bottle of Pure Black, and spring will feel like it’s right around the corner.
2 ½ cups fine ground yellow cornmeal
½ cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon freshly ground coriander
pinch cayenne pepper
1 ½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup sliced scallion (green and white together)
6 cups peanut or canola oil
Place dry mix in a large bowl, and whisk in wet mix. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes while the oil heats to temperature
Add the oil to pot, and ideally affix thermometer to the side. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F, then reduce heat to low, keeping oil temperature as stable to 350°F as you can.
Using a tablespoon, form well-rounded scoops of the batter, and drop into the oil from just above the surface, using the wetted forefinger of your opposite hand to push each puppy off the spoon. Fry 6 – 8 at a time, using a spider skimmer to move them around and hold them under the oil so they brown evenly. Transfer to clean brown paper bag (split open) to drain while the rest of the batch is being fried up. Serve piping hot.
On the side: Sour cream drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cayenne.