Growing up, Amber Wilson could eat her weight in hushpuppies when the family would go out for dinner at seafood restaurants. In her new cookbook For the Love of the South, she recalls:

“When we sat down at our table, I immediately grabbed the boat-shaped, woven basket filled with brown paper and tiny, round golden hushpuppies and placed them in front of me. Fishing out my trusty butter knife from its paper restrainer, I cut the piping hot, golden nugget of fried cornbread in half, allowing the sweet steam to escape. I grabbed a small packet of butter from the centre of the table, where it sat alongside the hot sauce, salt and pepper (as if butter was like any other condiment), and with very precise motions, I slathered half the packet on half of the hushpuppy and the rest on the other half . . . and popped both halves into my mouth.”

Pimento Hushpuppies

Makes 12 hushpuppies

1 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon self-rising flour or all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1⁄2 cup cold sparkling water
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon chopped
Pimentos, drained, or chives
Peanut oil, for frying
Sweet Whipped Butter (recipe follows)


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, sparkling water, milk, and pimentos. Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture and combine thoroughly. Cover and transfer to the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

2. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 inches of the oil over medium heat to 360°F/180°C. Line a plate with paper towels.

3. Working in batches of 4, drop rounded tablespoons of batter into the oil (I use a 1 1⁄2-tablespoon scoop). Allow both sides to turn deeply golden brown, about two minutes total. Drain the fried hushpuppies on the paper towels.

4. Serve piping hot with the whipped butter.

Sweet Whipped Butter

Makes 2⁄3 cup

1⁄2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Sea salt

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream and a small pinch of sea salt on high speed until the cream churns into lovely whipped butter. Stash away in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

From the book: FOR THE LOVE OF THE SOUTH by Amber Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Amber Wilson. Reprinted courtesy of Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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