It’s time to make one last push to use up that summer produce. Officially we still have over a month of summer left, but with the unseasonably cool weather and school starting back this week, it feels like fall has already arrived. I’m almost ready to start making room for apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash.
In South Carolina, the most popular squash to cook with is yellow squash, sometimes called summer squash. It’s very similar to zucchini, except I find it to have a sweeter taste.
If you have a glorious bounty of yellow squash in your garden, you might want to think about adding squash to your hush puppies. It produces a wonderfully tender and moist hush puppy with just enough sweetness.
Be sure to steam the squash until it’s really soft so that you can mash it up well. This way it will melt into the batter as the hush puppies cook and you won’t have noticeable chunks of squash, just the flavor of squash.
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- 5 medium-sized yellow squash
- ¾ cup self-rising yellow cornmeal
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ a medium sweet onion, minced
- ½ a jalapeno, finely minced
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil
- Chop off ends of squash, cut in half lengthwise and then into 2-inch pieces. Place in a steamer basket and place basket in a pot over simmering water. Place a lid on the pot, turn heat to low and steam squash for 12-15 minutes or until squash is very tender.
- Place squash in a medium bowl and mash well with a fork.
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix together .
- To bowl with squash, add onion, jalapeno, buttermilk, and egg. Mix together well. Add squash mixture to cornmeal mixture and stir just until blended.
- Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch in a deep cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon salt while still hot.
Yield: approximately 25 squash puppies