Only partially a disaster

Posted on July 24, 2005 by Chris Lumens in cooking.

I decided it was time for some good southern cooking up here in NH, especially after we spent all last week at work talking about chicken fried chicken. So, I decided the menu would be that, hush puppies (fried cornbread must be the most perfect food ever invented), green beans with chunks of ham in them, and sweet tea. Well, it turned out as only about half of a disaster.

The chicken fried chicken went pretty well, actually. I fried it in my giant cast iron skillet over the course of about 30 minutes and it appears to have cooked all the way through. I made gravy in the skillet afterwards with the remainder of the oil and chicken pieces. It’s not much to look at (pretty lumpy and an unappetizing color) but it sure is delicious. I consider that a win.

The green beans were pretty average. Somehow, they didn’t turn out nearly like when my grandparents would make them despite the addition of little bits of ham. I need to do some more work on this.

The real disappointment of the evening was the hush puppies. I made them out of a cornbread recipe I’ve got and used my new deep fryer, but I was unable to make the batter into balls. I think it must have been too runny even after the addition of extra corn meal to thicken everything up. The best I was able to do was little strands of fried cornbread which was decent though not really what I was going for. I think two things went wrong here - first, the oil needs to have been previously used for something and second, there must be some technique I’m missing to get the ball shapes.

I gave up on the hush puppies after a while because by that point, it had been two hours since I started dinner and I was hungry. I’ll have leftovers at work tomorrow so we can continue talking about the phrase “chicken fried chicken”. The hush puppies weren’t a complete loss, though. I made cornbread with the remainder of the batter. My skillet is really starting to get a nice finish to it by now.