Jalapeño Hush Puppies with Remoulade Dipping Sauce

A plate of freshly fried jalapeño hush puppies.

A Taste of Wild - Gulf Coast

Jon and Aubrey head south to the Gulf Coast to discover the hot, humid bayou country, explore the deep and diverse flavors of Cajun and Creole cooking and share their favorite eats along the way.

Jalapeño Hush Puppies with Remoulade Dipping Sauce

We’re on the bayou. This morning was a long drive down Highway 10, and now that we’re parked, I want something fried. Jon’s tired, too.  And, knowing him, he’ll want something with a kick. I swear, every time I feed that man spicy food he falls a little more in love.  

I’m thinking hush puppies. Why not? We are in the South, after all. And maybe I’ll roast a jalapeño over our fire and toss that in. And a dipping sauce? Remoulade, obviously. I may be from Oregon, but I love Southern comfort food.  

Despite the slightly obscure name, hush puppies have a really rich Southern history. Hush puppies are similar to grits in that they both originated from Native American corn dishes, the only major difference being that hush puppies typically include eggs and are deep fried. Hush puppies became what they are today when Southern Civil War soldiers started frying cornbread as a means to achieve a quick, inexpensive and filling meal. But their official name didn’t appear until the late 1890s when hunters and fishermen fried up cornmeal to feed their hungry dogs and “hush” their barking. (Get it?)

Although the recipe varies from place to place, all hush puppies are made with cornmeal, eggs and milk. We added jalapeño peppers for a little kick. By cooking the jalapeños on an open flame, you get a char that deepens the flavor of the hush puppies and keeps it from getting overly spicy. 

But what’s a hush puppy if you don’t have anything to eat it with? Enter the remoulade. This savory mayonnaise-based sauce goes great on nearly anything, but it’s most commonly used as a condiment for seafood. When the sauce was first brought to the South from France in the 18th century, local chefs began adding things like brown mustard, paprika and cayenne to give it that Cajun flair. We like ours with a more classic combo of pickles, Worcestershire and tarragon.

What’s so special about this particular pairing is that you have all five tastes in one: you get both sweet and salty from the hush puppies, and the sour, bitter and savory from the remoulade. Plus, there’s just something irresistible when crispy, fried crunch meets a silky smooth sauce. We dare you to try stopping at just one. 

Jalapeño Hush Puppies

Jalapeño Hush Puppies

Yield: 20-25 pieces
Prep: 10 minutes Cooking: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeño
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk 
  • 2 cups vegetable oil 

Cooking Tools

Method

  1. Roast the jalapeño over an open campfire flame. Peel, remove the seeds and chop.
  2. In a bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt and mix. 
  3. Add in eggs, buttermilk and jalapeño and fold until just combined. 
  4. Set oil in a small saucepan and heat to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. With one spoon, scoop up 1 tablespoon of batter, and use a second spoon to scrape the batter off gently into the pot of oil. 
  6. Fry until golden brown. Remove from oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and rest on a paper towel to absorb excess grease. Serve hot with remoulade.

*We recommend these items by Camp Chef.

Remoulade

Remoulade

Yield: About 1 cup
Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon capers, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon or creole mustard
  • 4 cornichons or dill pickles, finely diced
  • ½ of a lemon, juiced
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking Tools

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to suit your taste.

Jon and Aubrey used the stove, knife and cutting board from Camp Chef, a brand THOR recommends for easy campground cooking.