Seafood-Stuffed Hush Puppies with Creole Tomato Sauce

Tom Condron

Upstream and Mimosa Grill, Charlotte, NC

It’s hard not to feel Southern when eating these hush puppies filled with creamy crawfish tails, lobster, and rock shrimp. Outside of the South, however, it may be hard to find the fresh seafood necessary to make these taste their very best. You’ll want to have a fishmonger you can trust before trying this recipe.


Hush Puppies:

  • 4 tablespoons dried, minced onion
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cups vegetable or peanut oil

Seafood Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 bunch fresh leeks, white part only, washed, quartered, and sliced thinly
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound rock shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound crawfish tail meat
  • 1/2 pound lobster tails, cut in one-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Creole Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 half stalk celery, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning blend
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and spun dry, with the leaves removed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


To prepare the hush puppies, reconstitute the dried onion in the buttermilk for 10 minutes, or until softened. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, baking soda, and red pepper. Stir the egg into the buttermilk and then whisk buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until well combined. In a deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 350ºF. With a medium ice-cream scoop, drop the batter into the oil and fry the hush puppies until golden brown. Drain on paper towels until cool. Cut a circle on the top of each hush puppy and scoop out and discard the insides, making sure not to break through the crust. Set aside.

For the seafood filling, in a medium sauté pan, sweat the ginger, leeks, and onion in the butter over low to medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, making sure they do not brown. Add the heavy cream and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half. Add the rock shrimp, crawfish, and lobster, and continue to simmer until the shellfish is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the Creole tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat and sauté the green pepper, onion, garlic, celery, and Creole seasoning for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking the vegetables for five more minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, oregano, cilantro, and thyme and reduce the heat to low. Allow sauce to simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Purée the sauce in a blender. Strain through a sieve into another pot and keep warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble the hush puppies, preheat the oven to 375°F. Stuff the hollowed-out hush puppies with the seafood mixture, which you have first strained to keep the pastry from getting soggy. Place them in a baking dish. Bake hush puppies for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately with Creole tomato sauce.


12 hush puppies