It’s part of our mission to share farmhouse recipes that are easy, quick, and very flexible to help people use more of their home-grown produce, and these hushpuppies fit that bill.
Most of these easy seasonal recipes come from old-world cultures where they evolved over time. But this classic is distinctly American.
Corn is certainly the easiest calorie staple crop for home gardeners to grow, store and process. And it also provides a very high value to the grower, since non-GMO, organic corn is very rare and expensive on the US market.
And these hushpuppies also put the tender emollient greens of marshmallow (or other greens) to use. Marshmallow is an excellent, very productive perennial green, with the draw-back that the texture can be a bit slimy in some recipes.
But that texture is what gives these hushpuppies their ultra-creamy rich texture. Done right, they are crispy and crunchy on the outside, and moist and almost creamy on the inside.
This base recipe is straight-forward and does not use any flour, making it easy for the homesteader to make 90% from the garden. To replace the baking soda, one could use carbonated water or shandy to put some fluff in their puppies.
1 C cornmeal, preferably a blue, green or red corn.
1 C packed marshmallow greens
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 C water, milk or buttermilk.
Oil for deep frying or pan frying.
Heat oil to 375 degrees. If you can, use a thermometer to measure the temperature.
A fine grind will get you a smoother, fluffy puppy, while a coarser grind will give some extra crisp. I grind our meal in a simple coffee grinder, then sift with a screen sifter. Add salt and baking soda and mix.
Add the greens in a blender with the liquid, water or buttermilk and puree.
Add the dry ingredients. We want to fully incorporate the ingredients, but not too much. The final batter should be thick enough to form balls, but only barely. If desired, they can be rolled in more cornmeal for a crispy outside texture.
Fry until deep brown and aromatic. Serve with barbecue sauce, tartar sauce, creamy coleslaw, or ketchup.
The classic southern hushpuppy was flavored with finely grated onion. 1 small Egyptian walking onion works great.
Many recipes use white all-purpose flour to give the pups a lighter texture. I prefer them without (and I also don’t grow wheat.) But one could add 1/4 – 1/3rd C white flour.
I also usually just use water, but buttermilk gives hushpuppies an even richer texture.