Hush Puppies with Green Zebra Tomato Jam
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
At Trummer's on Main in Clifton, Virginia, Clayton Miller makes a highly seasoned, Indian-inflected tomato jam with ginger, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne. It's a terrific accompaniment to his hush puppies—cheekily nicknamed "shut-your-piehole puppies" by the cooks in his kitchen.
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or 1 tablespoon melted butter plus 2 tablespoons melted bacon fat
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 pounds Green Zebra tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- One 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the egg, milk and melted butter and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate the hush puppy batter for at least 1 hour.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the diced tomatoes with the honey, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick, cumin and cayenne. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and jammy, about 40 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Season the tomato jam with salt. Transfer the jam to a bowl and let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Set a rack over a large rimmed baking sheet and place near the stove. Stir the hush puppy batter. Drop tablespoon-size balls of batter into the hot oil, about 6 at a time, and fry, turning a few times, until they're deeply browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the hush puppies to the rack to drain. Repeat with the remaining batter. When all of the hush puppies have been fried, reheat them in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until they're hot. Serve them with the green tomato jam.
Beer Crisp pale ale that has a good balance of malt and hops is perfect with these spicy hush puppies. Try the refreshing Geary's Pale Ale from Portland, Maine, or the easier-to-find Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Massachusetts.