Hush Puppies with Sundried Tomatoes
Even though there is nothing new under the sun, it's always fun to give a different twist to a familiar, comfort food like Hush Puppies. Originally, this was a baked corn bread recipe but I thought, who wouldn't like FRIED corn bread? Hush Puppies with delightful crisp, packed with flavor was a perfect accompaniment to our fish fry tonight.
I dried 5 pounds of fresh Roma tomatoes in the oven. Who knows why when I can get dried or oil-packed sun dried tomatoes in the store! But it sure was fun to see the finished result.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line your cookie sheet with foil. Place halved Roma tomatoes on cookies sheets, not touching each other. Sprinkle sea salt, pinch of sugar, and dried thyme. Bake dry for 5-8 hours, until dried, but flexible. You can seed the tomatoes if you don't like the seeds. And use a dehydrator, if you have one!
Even though my husband says that a picture of dried tomatoes don't speak to him, for a foodie like me, I sigh and say, "Aren't these just beautiful?" Store these beauties in Ziplock storage baggies in the refrigerator up to 2 months.
Hush Puppies with Sun Dried Tomatoes
3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup oil reserved from jar of oil-packed tomatoes (or Canola Oil)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, cooled
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, sage, pepper, salt, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl and whisk to blend. Combine buttermilk, sun-dried tomatoes, reserved sun-dried tomato oil, butter, eggs and egg yolk in medium bowl and whisk to blend. Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients.
For Hush Puppies:
Heat oil in a fryer to 350 degrees F. Tim, IPC's frying/grill master taught me that hush puppies must be fried in lower temperature.
When the oil reaches the correct temperature, use 1-1/2 teaspoon dough scoop, drop the dough in hot oil. If you don't have a dough scoop, use a teaspoon and slide dough into oil. Be careful! Cook until hush puppies are golden brown and float in oil easily. 2-3 minutes. Can be made 3 hours ahead. To warm, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and flash heat for 5 minutes.
For Corn Bread:
Divide corn bread batter between prepared dishes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter two 9 1/2-inch-diameter deep-dish pie dishes.
Bake corn breads until tops begin to brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. (Corn breads can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cool completely. Cover with aluminum foil. Reheat covered in 350°F oven about 10 minutes.)
Cut corn breads into wedges. Transfer to towel-lined basket; serve warm.