Squash Puppies

That’s right, squash puppies.  For any of you looking for ways to manage a bumper squash or zucchini crop this is a first class recommendation.  Last night was book club.  They’re always up for being new recipe guinea pigs and this time it worked out well for them.  These were a big hit!  They’re pretty easy.  You can do the time consuming part ahead of time.  And they’re wicked good.

I know that some of you are squirming because this is a fried food.  And then again some of you have decided to read this whole post expressly because this is a fried food.  Here’s the thing – fried food doesn’t have to be greasy.  It’s all about making sure that the oil is hot enough to form a crust as soon as the food hits the oil.  That way the food doesn’t soak up the grease. It just cooks in it.  I actually use a candy thermometer to make sure the oil is hot enough.  And remember, every time you add something to the oil the temperature drops some.  If you overload the pan you’ll end up with greasy food.  Fry things in small batches.  It takes a little longer, but you’ll be much happier with the results.

For these I cooked the squash and onions the night before.  It takes a while to cook down squash so it was worth doing ahead.  Then instead of mashing it I chopped it relatively fine.  I didn’t have any buttermilk so I used regular milk.  To add a little tang and a little thickness, like buttermilk, I added a little sour cream.  You just mix everything in a bowl and then start frying.  I keep them warm in the oven while I wait for the other batches to finish.  You can just drop the batter into the oil in small spoonfuls.  Be careful as you go that the oil doesn’t get too hot.  If it does they’ll burn on the outside and be gooey in the middle.  Blech.  What’s fun about these is that when you drop this batter in the oil it puffs up immediately.  It’s fun to watch!

The cayenne gives these a nice little kick.  If you like your “hush” puppies a little sweet feel free to add a little sugar.  The squash adds a touch of sweetness anyway.  These are a rickin good way to slip in an extra vegetable.  Or maybe making hush puppies with squash just helps you feel less guilty about eating them.  These don’t need any butter, but it can’t hurt.  No idea if they’re good leftover.  You’re unlikely to have many of these left!

Good? So, so good.
Easy? We’ll give it an intermediate because frying can be tricky.
Good for company? Would be good with bbq.
Special shopping? Nope.

Squash Puppies

Ingredients

3/4 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
6 medium-size squash, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 small onion, minced
1 large egg
Vegetable oil

Preparation

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir together squash and next 3 ingredients; add to cornmeal mixture, stirring until blended.
Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch into a deep cast-iron skillet; heat to 350°. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls, in batches, into oil; fry 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

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