When I was 10, I went to go and visit my relatives in Virginia. One of the highlights of the trip was fishing in the Shenandoah River. The fish were biting and so easy to catch that my sister caught one with a safety pin! I was a bit squeamish at seeing them cooked so I ate mostly Hush Puppies at that meal and developed a love of that homely side dish that accompanied the fried fish.
As the story goes, cooks would use the leftover cornmeal from coating the fish to make them, adding in Buttermilk, Baking Soda and Egg and deep frying them. They were said to have once been thrown by a cook in Louisiana to a howling puppy and that is how they got their name since it shushed him up.
It's been awhile since I made them and now that I am gluten free, I needed to adapt the recipe. I made them tonight without any Fish and I added Clams, Red Pepper and Green Onion, which I think makes them into Fritters and gives them more color. For the batter, I used a combination of mostly Cornmeal with a bit of Gluten Free Flour to make them more tender and I used the Clam Broth instead of Buttermilk and used Baking Powder instead of Baking Soda because there's nothing acidic in this batter once you take out the Buttermilk. I fried them up and just couldn't stop eating them. I got the thumbs up from my son and daughter in law too. This would be a wonderful appetizer for a party and I am quite sure you could make them ahead and then put them in the oven to warm up. Sometimes, good old fashioned Southern Cooking is hard to beat!
Clam and Corn Fritters
1 ½ cups Cornmeal
½ cup Gluten Free Flour (Cup4Cup or Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt or Creole Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning
Pinch of fresh ground Black Pepper
2 cans Chopped Clams
½ cup cooked or frozen Corn Kernels, patted dry with a paper towel
3 - 4 Green Onions, sliced thin
¼ cup diced Red Pepper
1 large Egg, beaten lightly
Oil for Frying
Drain the Clams and reserve the Broth - it should measure a scant 1 cup of Broth.
Heat oil in on medium high heat a wok or deep fryer to a depth of at least two inches. Put paper towels on a plate for the Fritters.
In a mixing bowl, combine the Cornmeal, the Gluten Free Flour, the Baking Powder, Salt and Pepper. Stir to blend. Then add in the Clams, Corn. Green Onions, Red Pepper, the reserved Clam Broth and Egg. Stir to combine.
Drop by the heaping teaspoonful into hot oil. Stand back and use a splatter guard if you have one as the oil might pop. Cook until golden brown, turn carefully using a spider or slotted spatula and remove when deep golden brown. Continue until all the batter is used up. Serve hot with Ketchup, Salsa or Tomato Chutney.
Five Element Analysis
As a fried food, these Fritters already have some of the Fire Element and the Red Pepper adds even more. The Cornmeal and Corn bring in the Earth Element. The Metal Element is found in the Gluten Free Flour, which is mostly made of Rice and the Green Onions contribute too. The Water Element is found in the Clams and Clam Broth, making this a balanced little snack!