Formerly of Mr. Cecil's California Ribs; Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, and Sherman Oaks, CA
The ultimate when it comes to Southern comfort food, hush puppies are thought by some to have originated during Civil War-era scarcity when cooks would toss scraps of fried corn batter to hungry, and apparently noisy, dogs. (Culinary historians dispute the likelihood of this story, but we think it's cute.) These hush puppies are a little sweeter than most and are delicious served with honey butter, as Jonathan Burrows does at his Mr. Cecil's California Ribs restaurants. You can make honey butter by whipping butter with honey and a little heavy cream. Although Burrows deep-fries his puppies in lard, we tried pan-frying them in vegetable oil, and they turned out perfectly crunchy and golden brown. If you do choose to pan-fry, slightly flatten the balls so they cook evenly throughout.
- Vegetable oil or lard for deep-frying
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, more for an extra kick
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped bell pepper
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Heat the vegetable oil or lard in a deep fryer to 365ºF. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cayenne. Add the chopped pepper, eggs, and vegetable oil and mix until combined. Roll about 1 tablespoon of the dough into balls in the palm of your hands. Deep-fry the hush puppies in batches until golden brown, being careful not to burn them. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.
30 hush puppies