Everybody loves hush puppies, and I've had so many variations that I've lost count. This version has an awesome combination of spicy and savory notes; the crisp, fresh jalapeno and the soft, stewed rhubarb create an ideal balance. Hush puppies are a great complement to a wide range of stuff, including catfish and gumbo; they're also delicious served with soups and stews.
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter or olive oil
- 2 rhubarb stalks, minced
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
- 2 green onions, minced
- 1 jalapeno or mild chili, ribs and seeds removed, minced
- 2 tbsps. white sugar
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3 tbsps. all-purpose flour
- 3 tsps. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. veggie bouillon
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 4 to 5 cups canola or peanut oil
- SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
- Candy thermometer
MAKE THE DOUGH
1. In a 10-inch skillet set on medium, add the butter or oil, rhubarb, onion, red garlic, green onion, and jalapeno and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet. Raise the heat to high and stir until water has evaporated, 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, bouillon, salt, allspice, and chili powder.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the beaten egg, buttermilk, and sauteed rhubarb mixture.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the cornmeal mixture, stirring to combine. The mixture should hold together but not be doughy. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
FRY THE PUPPIES
1. Prepare a deep fryer according the directions or fill a deep, heavy-bottomed pot with 3 inches of the oil and heat to 350°F. Check the oil temperature with a candy thermometer.
2. Working in batches, drop the batter by the tablespoon into the hot oil. Fry, turning halfway through, until the hush puppies are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the puppies from the oil and place them on newspaper or paper towels to drain.
3. Drizzle with honey and serve warm.
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