When you live on the lake and eat a lot of fried fish, it just doesn’t seem right to do it without french fries and hushpuppies. Anything less and on the Food Network, you would be CHOPPED! It’s real easy to just grab up a bag of each at the grocery store. I mean fresh fish is going to be the star of the meal anyway, right?
Not necessarily. Cutting up potatoes is a lot of trouble, so I stick with the store bought ones.
On hushpuppies, I also usually take the easy way out most of the time because it is easy and frankly, I just haven’t found an ideal hushpuppy recipe that was easy, good, consistent and didn’t make a huge mess. Until now.
A few years back while visiting Avery Island, we ate some delicious food and picked up a cookbook and some recipe cards from the lady that had cooked on the hot pepper Island for the McIlhenny family for more than half a decade: Eula Mae Dore’. One was for her hushpuppies. They have a lot of puppies down there, so I guess she needed a good recipe to keep things quiet. Hey, take this and hush, puppy.
Anyway, I was thumbing through and found her recipe and tried it. She had recipes for big groups and small groups. Basically, the recipe called for 2 parts corn meal, 1 part flour, a tad of baking powder, chopped onion, garlic powder and a half-part prepared pancake mix. Never heard of that last ingredient being used before. And of course, four shots (at least) of Tabasco sauce…Mix it, let it sit 15-20 minutes and let it visit the 350 degree hot oil for 3-4 minutes.
Man, they were good and light. And good. And not greasy. And good! I’ve done them six times this summer. Mine aren’t as pretty as hers were in the picture, but I think she would have been proud. I just hope it didn’t make the fried fish jealous. And I hope the Sumos don’t read this and wonder why they always get the store bought ones.