Joe Kindred, chef and owner at Kindred, Hello, and Sailor in North Carolina, didn’t go to seafood restaurants for the fish as a kid. “As a child, my favorite part of the meal was the crispy, hot hush puppies served with Country Crock butter. As a chef, I wanted to create an elevated version of Hush Pups that still brought back childhood memories.
Kindred incorporated those memories in this recipe for hush puppies to create a fluffy, lacey interior and a crisp crust. What is the secret of the light, tender crumb in hush puppies? Kindred says that to keep the hush puppies extra crispy; she uses frozen grated butter folded gently into the batter. Kindred recommends that you upgrade your cornmeal to the finest possible: “I use freshly milled cornmeal purchased from my friend Greg at Marsh Hen Mill.”
- Canola Oil for frying
- Six tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces), frozen
- One medium-sized yellow onion
- 3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal (such as Marsh Hen Mill Jimmy Red Cornmeal)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/8 ounces)
- Two teaspoons of baking powder
- Two teaspoons of granulated sugar
- One teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- Two large eggs, beaten
- In a large Dutch Oven, heat 2 inches of oil on medium until it reaches 350degF. In the meantime, grated frozen butter into a bowl using a box grater with large holes. Transfer butter to the freezer. Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the onion. Squeeze the onion between two layers of paper towels in order to remove as much moisture as possible. Reserve 1/2 cup of squeezed grated onions; discard any grated onion that remains or is reserved for another use.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal and flour with baking powder and sugar. Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, grated onion, and eggs. Pour the buttermilk mixture on top of the cornmeal mixture and sprinkle with grated frozen butter. Fold until combined.
- Do not overcrowd the oil. Drop spoonfuls (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) of batter into it in batches. Fry until golden and crispy on all sides. This should take about 2 minutes. Flipping the hush puppies after one minute is recommended. Transfer the hushpuppies to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Add additional salt or pepper according to your taste. Serve hot.