June's Famous Hushpuppies Recipe: A Treasured Family Hush Puppies Recipe Gets a Little Fine Tuning by Terri Jones
I was lucky enough to have several moms in my life growing up, and one was June, a North Carolinian who bled blue and introduced the Maryland-born me to Southern cooking at a very early age. One of June's specialties was hushpuppies. This was before every seafood restaurant served them with their fish. Our family fell in love with those hot, crispy balls of corn meal dripping in butter.
When I grew up and started cooking myself, I asked June for her recipe. Unfortunately, I had never attempted it until recently when I was hosting my mom and sister at my new home and found that many of the measurements were missing! How much cornmeal? How many onions? Like all great cooks, June mixed up dishes by feel not by precise measurements. Since she had passed away seven years ago, sadly, I couldn't just call her up. I had to turn to the internet for clarification instead. Below is her recipe and the hushpuppy 2.0 recipe I ended up with.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
June's Hushpuppies Recipe
Here's how she made them:
- Deep fry. If too grainy, add flour, if too cakey, add cornmeal.
June's Hushpuppies 2.0
- 1 1/8 cups cornmeal
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup plus 2 - 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 - 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- oil, for deep frying
Here's how to make it:
- Get your oil very, very hot (365 degrees F). Don't start frying until the oil is this hot or you will have a mess!
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Scoop out some batter with a serving spoon and with a teaspoon held perpendicular to the serving spoon, with the bottom of the spoon down, push the batter off the serving spoon into the hot oil. Get the serving spoon as close to the oil as you can to keep the hushpuppy as round as possible. (My sister, thankfully, remembered watching June do this part as my first puppies were ... ahemmmm ... a little misshapen!) Only do four or five at a time so you can easily keep an eye on them.
- Let them fry until golden brown, turning as necessary. Fish out with a strainer and let drain on paper towels. Try one of your first batch and see June's suggestion above for tweaks to texture. Some people roll in confectioner's sugar. I like mine simply sliced with a pat of butter! Thanks, June!
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