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A Southwest Summer: Southwest Hush Puppies

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First of all, if you have never eaten hush puppies then you are not a true American. Sorry, but this is just a simple fact. Now, the chances are very strong you think you have eaten hush puppies. For instance if you have gone to one of those fast-food dens of death who claim they serve southern food and have what they will say are hush puppies on their disgusting menu, you may have ordered them and thought you were eating hush puppies. Wrong! You were eating coagulated goop deep-fried to the density of an Exxon oil spill and with as much natural taste as a fingernail -- okay, a fingernail actually has more natural taste.

Hush puppies are, aside from a shoe, a southern delicacy. A pillow soft ball of cornmeal deep-fried to perfection and usually injected with some onions. They aren't just delicious, they are downright addictive. This version of hush puppies are more of the southwestern version. Instead of onions in our little balls of joy, we have garlic and jalapeno peppers -- yes the dynamic duo of munchies!

These hush puppies are so easy to make they should really become a staple of your munchies cravings. You can serve them with just about anything. You can dip them in whatever you want. Hell, you can even toss them around the living-room and not break anything.

Ingredients needed to make Southwestern Hush Puppies (makes about 12):

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. hot sauce
  • Corn oil for deep-frying

Steps:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the the egg, milk, jalapeno pepper, garlic and hot sauce.
  3. Stir the liquid ingredients into the cornmeal to make a batter. Let the batter sit 10 minutes.
  4. In a wok or saute pan (or cast iron skillet if you're from the South) add enough oil to deep fry (about 3 inches) and heat over medium heat to 350 on a deep-fry thermometer.
  5. Using a tablespoon, drop the batter into the oil and deep-fry until golden.
  6. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and let cool slightly before serving.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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