Two summers ago, we took a gastronomic road trip down to the Southern States. From Montreal to New Orleans, we stopped many places along the way with one main goal: EAT ALL THE FOOD. I could go on for hours listing all delicious memories – from fried oysters, to breakfast Po’boys, to “three-vegetable-plate” made up of mac&cheese, potato salad, and beans… But it is one particular appetizer at the Four Way Diner in Memphis that now holds a special place in my
arteries heart. I’ve always been a fan of bite-sized anything, so it’s no wonder that I’d easily fall in love with sweet and smoky hush puppies. Served alongside the most delicious sweet and savoury whipped butter… I was instantly hooked.
Upon our return, I decided to re-create a lighter, slightly healthier version of these delicious poppable treats. I knew I had saved a similar recipe a while back, and sure enough, when I went through my piles of ripped-out magazine pages, I found exactly what I was looking for. (Thanks for always being on-point, Châtelaine!)
Since these are oven-baked, they’re more of a cornbread-hushpuppy hybrid – to replace the smoky flavour obtained by frying, I opted for a little sprinkle of smoked paprika, as well as a little smoked cheddar (or gouda!) for an extra kick. Jalapeños just felt natural, so of course, I added a few as the original recipe suggested.
Whipped Sweet & Savoury Butter
(scroll down to find the smoky baked hush puppies recipe!)
This fluffy, spreadable butter is slightly sweetened with natural maple syrup, and gets a little savoury kick from fresh chives. If you can’t find chives, finely chopped green onions will work equally well. Whipped butter can be prepared in advance and left in a sealed container at room temperature for up to five days. (You can also refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 weeks, making sure that it is taken out at least two hours before serving to let it soften up again.)
Oven Baked Hush Puppies (Baked Mini Cornbread)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 diced jalapeno (fresh or pickled)
1/4 cup grated smoked cheddar
1/4 cup grated smoked gouda
1/2 cup canned sweet corn kernels (drained)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
oven to 425F. Butter two 12-count mini-muffin pans. (Alternately, you can use non-stick paper liners.)
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and jalapeños.
Stir in cheeses and corn kernels.
Beat egg, melted butter and milk in a small bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and pour in your egg & milk mixture.
Stir until just until combined.
Use a miniature ice cream scoop to fill your well-oiled tins.
Bake until golden, 10 to 12 min. Serve warm, with whipped sweet chive butter.