These hush puppies are stuffed to bursting with delicious crab, which is in season in the Bay Area starting in mid-November. They are particularly delicious when dunked in remoulade. We made them as a Thanskgiving appetizer with cornmeal my mom sends from the Graue Mill in Oak Brook, Illinois, where they grind the corn between two giant stone wheels powered by a waterwheel. Apparently it was also a stop on the Underground Railroad (you really do learn something every day). Their cornmeal is delicious, sweet with a chunky, uneven grind that only comes from doin’ it the old way.
Crab Hush Puppies
- 6 cups, ish, vegetable oil for frying
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1 c plus 2 tbsp well-shaken buttermilk
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 c cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
- 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- indulgent fistfuls of lump crabmeat – I think we used around 3/4 lb
Heat oil to 375 in a wide, heavy 5-quart pot over medium heat. While oil heats, mince and mash garlic into a paste with a pinch of salt, then whisk together with eggs, buttermilk, and scallions.
Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a large bowl, then stir in buttermilk mixture until just combined. Stir in crabmeat – we pretty much put in as much as we thought the batter could take without falling apart.
Working in batches of 10, carefully drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Keep them warm in the oven if you can keep your hands off them long enough for them to get cold.
- 1/2 c mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp capers, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped coarse
- 1 1/2 tsp sweet pickle relish
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced fresh parsley
Pulse all ingredients in mini-chopper until well combined but not yet smooth, about 10 1-second pulses. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
…..fried crab niblets….