Well, when you’ve got a stormy summer night preventing you from using the grill, what do you do? If you’re me, you go, “Let’s look in the freezer!”
Yep, that’s how this story starts. It was dismal all day, so I figured we’d be due for some rain around dinner (sure enough, we had thunder and lightning and the works), so I had to give up my dreams of another night of grilled turkey burgers and sweet potato fries. I decided I would sort through the freezer and see what meat in there needed to be used in the coming weeks, and make a menu plan from there.
Well, there were some lovely mahi mahi filets just calling my name, so I started researching a recipe. For a side dish, I had some ears of corn from Soergel’s Orchards, and I was really eager to test those out. But we needed one more thing to accompany these dishes perfectly… and then, inspiration hit. Hush puppies! Fish, corn-on-the-cob, and hush puppies, just like the calabash seafood buffets at Myrtle Beach!
The only problem, of course, was our lack of a deep fryer. I knew that a trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond was in order, which would also help boost the elaborate-ness of this Achievement!
There she is: my little dream deep fryer. You’ll get a better shot that gives some perspective of the size. There are only two of us and a pup, so I decided to get the smaller deep fryer to accommodate us and not allow us to fully overdo anything.
These are the ingredients used to create my hush puppies. Apparently, you also need baking soda, but we didn’t have any, so I did some mental-recalculations (read: calculations that were probably wrong, since I don’t know a single thing about cooking substitutions) and just added more baking powder!
While I was making the hush puppy batter, Michael was hard at work preparing the meat. We made ginger-soy glazed mahi mahi from a Coastal Living recipe, and it required preparation of the glaze before cooking the fish. Here he is, adding the honey!
And finally, after mixing all the ingredients of the hush puppies and waiting for the oil to reach the right temperature, it was time to make hush puppies happen! Here I am, carefully dropping in the little balls of batter.
The first batch came up looking pretty good! Now I understand why the hush puppies at restaurants come out with wonky little sides. How they fall into the deep fryer is how they shall fry, so you have to try to be a little precise!
And here I am with my first-ever hush puppy creations! I was so very proud of these. They were really, really good, just like the stuff you get at the seafood restaurants. Next time, I want to learn to make honey-butter to go with them, like we get at Drunken Jack’s in Myrtle Beach!
Here is the final table-setting. The mahi mahi was delicious. It was that lovely tender/flaky that a fish well-cooked is, and the sesame soy sauce glaze added the perfect amount of salt and tangy-ness to the dish. The hush puppies were actually good when dipped in the sauce!
And of course, no dinner is complete without its wine selection! We got a Central Coast chardonnay, and the buttery flavor of the wine was just what we needed to go with the buttery hush puppies and corn.
I can’t pretend I’m not super excited to have this little deep fryer. I think it is opening up all sorts of possibilities in my cooking world! I could make fried calamari now, or fried zucchini, or FRIED OREOS (even though I don’t think I would eat those). Oh man, I could even, if I tried hard enough, MAKE FUNNEL CAKES.
I promise, not every elaborate meal from here on out will be using the deep fryer, but I can’t promise it won’t make a repeat appearance! After we finished dinner, we opened our fancy bottle of July wine, so look for Michael’s post coming soon about that!