Sunday, February 3, 2013

Recipe: Sweet corn hush puppies w/ bacon & brown sugar

Hubby and I went out to dinner with my in-laws to O'Charley's this week. I just love O'Charley's.We ordered their new hush puppy appetizer and man oh man, it was delicious! I'm pretty picky about my hush puppies, as I only started to appreciate them within the past few years. As a kid I absolutely hated them. Ick. These weren't ordinary hush puppies, though. They were sweet and spicy and served with apple butter. We enjoyed them so much that I needed to figure out how to make my own. I will not call this a copycat because they are not nearly as good, but they'll do the job until the next time I can get out to O'Charley's for the real deal.


1 cup white cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp white sugar
1/4 cup sweet corn, chopped or processed into tiny pieces
2-3 tbsp chopped onion
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
2-3 slices bacon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Oil, for frying
Apple butter, for dipping

First, cook your bacon until good and crispy using your preferred method. Drain on paper towels and then crumble into tiny tiny bits. I used a food processor for this. I also used a food processor to chop the corn into small pieces as well. Feel free to skip that step if you don't mind large corn chunks in your pups. 
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, bacon, and cayenne pepper and set aside:

In a separate small bowl beat eggs and milk together.
In a medium bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, white sugar, sweet corn and chopped onion. Mix in egg mixture until a firm batter forms:
If batter is too runny, add a little corn meal a tsp at a time.
Pour oil into a large pot or cast iron skillet and heat for several minutes on medium. Let the hush puppy batter rest while oil heats up.
Scoop batter by tablespoonful and form into a basic ball shape. Drop into brown sugar mixture and roll around to lightly coat.
Drop brown sugar covered batter balls (that's a mouthful!) into hot oil 3 or 4 at a time and fry until golden brown. As your oil continues to heat, this will take less time so keep an eye on them in order to not overcook.
After making several hush puppies, take the time to scoop out the crumbs which have likely started to burn in the oil. If you don't do this, you may end up with an ugly stench and a little smokiness in your kitchen. Not that I would know anything about that.
 Let hush puppies cool for a minute or two before diving in cause they will be hot, hot, hot! Serve warm with apple butter.


  1. I went to O'Charley's last week and ordered these as a side with my meal. HOLY COW. Like you, I've only been a hush puppy fan for a few years and I love golden Corral's pups. The ones from O'charleys were AMAZING. Like no otherI have ever tasted and certainly could eat them everyday if my wardrobe was full of elastic wasted sweatpants lol. I am going to try your recipe to see if they are close and maybe together we can tweak it. The only difference I see right away is adding cornmeal to the brown sugar coating. I vivdly remember what I loved about them and it was the crunch of the cornmeal on the breading. I think the tweak i would make to your recipe is reducing the brown sugar in the breading, adding the cornmeal, then adding sugar to the batter mix. And they definitely had some sort of jalepeno touch to them. Cayenne would add the heat that they had (it wasn't overwhelming) but I think there was some jalepeno in the batter. I'll let you know how mine turn out!

    1. Thank you for your comment, I definitely think you're on to something with the cornmeal in the batter and I agree about the jalapenos as well. I almost think I remember little jalapeno bits mixed inside the pups? I may just have to go back and get them again to refresh my memory ;) Let me know if you make the tweaks and how they turn out!!



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