Let’s keep it real here: it’s hard to go wrong when you deep-fry carbohydrates. And hush puppies are a great example of that – those little nuggets of crispy fried cornmeal goodness are a classic staple in the American South. But I found a way to not only make them more tender in the centre (because the traditional recipe can be a tad dry, if I do say so myself), but also more delicious with the help of some spices and creamy goat cheese. My pumpkin and goat cheese hush puppies are a deliciously easy treat for cocktail party or even Sunday night football. If you have a deep fryer, use that; otherwise, a high-sided heavy-bottom saucepan filled with 4-inches of canola oil, and a probe thermometer to gauge the oil temperature will do the trick. These are so easy to make, and the spices work to bring out the earthiness of the pumpkin puree in the batter. The best part: they can be fried a day in advance and gently reheated when you’re ready to serve!
|2 tsp||distilled white vinegar|
|¾ cup||all-purpose flour|
|¾ tsp||sea salt|
|5 turns||freshly cracked black pepper|
|1 tsp||baking powder|
|1 tsp||baking soda|
|3||stalks green onion, chopped|
|1||egg, large, beaten|
|½ cup||pumpkin puree, plain|
|75g||goat cheese, crumbled into larger chunks (you want the chunks to remain mostly intact when you fold it into the batter)|
|Canola oil, for frying|
|1 cup||sour cream|
|2||chipotles peppers in adobo, finely chopped|
|2 tbsp||lemon juice, freshly squeezed|
|Sea salt, to taste|
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve covered in the refrigerator until service.
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan, one with sides that rise at least 4-inches higher than the oil level, preheat 4-inches of oil to 350 degrees F – this is to ensure it doesn’t boil over, safety first. For best results, use a probe thermometer to properly gauge temperature.
- Into a small bowl, add the milk and vinegar and set aside. Don’t be scared when the milk thickens as it sits, you’re replicating buttermilk without having to buy an entire carton of the stuff – you’re welcome!
In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine all ingredients from cornmeal to green onion.
- In a smaller bowl, use the same whisk to combine the egg, pumpkin puree, and milk mixture. Add the wet mixture to the dry and use a rubber spatula to combine. Gently fold in the goat cheese to evenly distribute.
- By now, the oil should be ready to start frying. To test, drop a small piece of batter into the oil - if the oil bubbles rapidly with small bubbles around the batter it’s ready to go. Otherwise, wait until a probe thermometer placed in the oil (without touching the bottom or sides of the pan) reaches 350 degrees F. To fry, use a small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons to drop small golf-ball-sized amounts of batter into the oil, one at a time. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as the oil level will rise with each addition. Fry hush puppies in batches until evenly golden brown and floating, approximately 2-3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined platter once cooked and allow to cool for 1 minute before serving. Serve hot with chipotle dip.
- NOTE: If you absolutely need to hold them hot for a few minutes to delay service, hold in an oven preheated to 225 degrees F.