This week’s Saturday Snacks recipe has you and me dipping into a tried and true recipe reflecting Southern flair and tastes. D23, in honor of Black History Month, re-released the recipe for Blue Bayou’s Hushpuppies, and I don’t know about you, but those amazing little things were exactly what I needed this week.
My favorite hushpuppies hail from Lee’s Inlet Kitchen in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. It’s a wonderful little place that gets super busy in the evening, so the earlier you get there, the better. If you have a chance to stop by, please have a hushpuppy and a plate of fried shrimp for me. Yummmm.
Hushpuppies are magical little deep-fried concoctions of cornmeal and flour, and in Blue Bayou’s case, shallots, crumbled bacon, and sweet corn. And, thankfully, they’re easily thrown together and fried up. Before you know it, you have something wonderfully warm and comforting that will elevate any meal. Or any weekend afternoon snacktime.
When things wrapped up with the Galactic Starcruiser Media Voyage on Wednesday, I scarfed down a salad at Contempo Café and made a beeline for my grocery store. I needed to buy a shallot, and while I had looked up shallots and what exactly one was supposed to do with them on the internets, I wasn’t 100% sure where I would find them and I still wasn’t 100% sure what to do once I was in possession of one.
Thankfully, I found the shallots in and among the veggies, and picked one that looked like it might render a tablespoon or so diced. The shallot was bigger than I expected it to be, so I figured it would do.
The way to prepare a shallot is to make a lengthwise cut down the side to begin with. Doing so will make getting the skin off of the shallot just a bit easier. You then make a slice lengthwise without cutting all the way through the end of the shallot. You can then make vertical cuts into the shallot and then go across the other way to dice it. It turns out that my shallot was the perfect size, and I had just the amount I needed. Whew!
I decided to go ahead and chop up the rest of the things that we needed and get everything ready à la mis en place. If you’ve been hanging out here at Saturday Snacks for any length of time, you know this isn’t my normal mode d’emploi. But I took a few minutes and washed the parsley and chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons and placed it in its own ramekin and fried up 1 heaping tablespoon of finely chopped bacon.
I was this close to buying pre-cooked bacon (no shame in that), but decided at the last minute to go ahead and just buy a regular pack of bacon and fry it up. Few things delight me as much as freshly cooked bacon, so I figured I’d go that route for the recipe. And now I need to take a break from writing this ‘cause I just remembered that there’s half a package of bacon in the fridge waiting to be fried and gobbled up. Please hold.
(Insert bacon eating here.) The recipe also calls for 3 tablespoons of white sweet corn. Rather than stressing over using fresh corn, I bought a small can of white shoepeg corn and called it good enough. And you know what? It worked perfectly!
While I was at the store, I picked up a bottle of corn oil since that’s what the recipe calls for and it’s just not ever a type of oil that I have on hand. You and I will need 4 cups for the recipe, although for the size of pot that I used, I ended up needing all 5 cups.
This is another wonderful recipe where the large majority of the ingredients get dumped into one big bowl and combined. It’s like the Disney chefs know that we just don’t have a whole lot of time or patience or, really, brain cells by the time the weekend rolls around. Just let us dump all the things into a bowl and mix ‘em up and we’ll be happy, mmmkay?
In my large bowl I combined 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of yellow cornmeal, my 1 tablespoon of finally diced shallot, 1 heaping tablespoon of chopped bacon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of finally chopped parsley, 3 heaping tablespoons of white shoepeg corn, 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and a half teaspoon of black pepper.
These hushpuppies are going to be slightly sweet and slightly savory and oh so delicious. You’ll know it as soon as you start mixing up all of those dry ingredients. These are fancy hushpuppies. And they are going to be amazing.
This was right about the time when I decided to go ahead and start heating up the oil. My thermometer said that I need it to be around 360° or so in order to fry the hushpuppies, so I figured I had plenty of time. Well, long story short, my oil got way too hot way too fast and I ended up needing to pull it off of the heat and it took all of 12 minutes to cool down to the point where I could start dropping dough in the oil. Yikes. Learn from my mistake: keep an eye on that oil.
Making things even worse, once we put the egg and 3/4 cup of milk into the dry ingredients and mix them all together, the recipe tells us that we’ve only got 15 minutes to be able to use that batter/dough. The clock was ticking. Thankfully, the oil got to the right temp just in time.
The recipe also tells us that we can use 2 teaspoons in order to form small hushpuppies the size of an olive. I don’t know about you, but the hush puppies that I’ve had are quite bigger than the size of an olive. And I needed fried food this week, so I made them the size that I wanted them to be. I grabbed my tablespoon-sized cookie scoop and started scooping away.
One at a time, I scooped up a bit of the amazing-smelling hushpuppy dough and dropped it into the hot oil.
After three or four minutes, the most beautiful golden brown hushpuppies emerged. I pulled them out of the oil using a strainer and let them drain on a plate covered with a paper towel. One scoop at a time, I dropped dough into the oil. And magic came out.
BEHOLD that plate of goodness. To say that I was happy is an understatement. I bit into the first hushpuppy and it was a sensory experience. It pulled me back to eating all of those wonderful meals at Lee’s Inlet Kitchen and it tasted exactly as I hoped it would. Warm, flavorful, and so good.
And I soon as I bit into my first hushpuppy, I wanted shrimp. My hubby pointed out that we had a bag of raw shrimp in the freezer, and before you know it, we were having shrimp and hushpuppies. And it was just the best.
I also wanted honey butter, so I mixed a bit of softened butter with a bit of honey, et voila! I was so incredibly happy.
Recipes like these are lovingly crafted and handed down over time. And they’re also through lines linking families, communities, and cultures. There’s history in those hushpuppies, and it’s not just Disneyland history. I’m thankful for those who created the recipe, and for those who have handed down their own beloved recipes over the years.
May this weekend be a good one for you and yours. And may you savor something delightfully delicious along the way.
I’ll be taking an early Spring Break time out next weekend, so the next Saturday Snacks article will appear on March 12th. We’re getting dangerously close to the 100th Saturday Snacks recipe, and I don’t know about you, but I think we need to do something fun on that big special day. Hmmmmm…
Thanks so much for reading!
Ready to try your hand at making Blue Bayou’s Hushpuppies? You’ve got this! The recipe is below:
Blue Bayou’s Hushpuppies
Enjoy this recipe for Hushpuppies from Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. They’re so delicious, you’ll savor these crispy little bites in exquisite silence.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 heaping tablespoon cooked and finely chopped bacon
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
3 heaping tablespoons white sweet corn
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup milk
4 cups corn oil or shortening
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the egg, milk, and oil.
- In a separate bowl, mix together egg and milk. Heat the oil.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg-and-milk mixture. Do not let the batter sit longer than 15 minutes.
- Use two teaspoons and carefully spoon a ball about the size of a large olive into the hot oil. Fry 3 to 4 minutes.
Deni loves all things Disney, and, in 2013, moved to the Magic from Maryland. Walt Disney World is her happy place, and she loves getting to share it with others. Deni and her husband of almost 26 years have 2 grown children. Her favorite WDW snack? A Mickey Bar, of course. Is there any other?!