Overwhelmed with zucchini from the garden? These Zucchini Hushpuppies are a fun and tasty way to use those extra zukes!
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Few things make me happier than coming back up to the house with a basket full of produce from our garden. Well, to be fair, there are several things that make me happier. Like homemade bread. And cookies. But I digress. On occasion, that basket of produce sometimes gets overloaded with one type of produce. I still have a ginormous bag of pesto in the freezer. And I think I deseeded and chopped about 35 jalapenos last Fall right before the first frost. (If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes to use that many jalapenos, just know it’s a long time. And we like jalapenos.)
Zucchini is another one. We always plant a couple zucchini plants, and by mid-summer they’ve totally taken over their raised bed. If you’ve ever grown zucchini before, then you know how quickly they grow. One day you see a little small zuke. Two days later, that zuke is as big as your arm. Usually, we just slice zucchinni, rub it with olive oil and Italian seasonings and toss it on the grill along with whatever else is on our dinner menu. It’s an easy way to use up those extra zukes. But I decided to take a stab at using extra zucchini in a different way…by turning them into Zucchini Hushpuppies.
I’m from the South, and although I might live in upstate New York now, my southern roots remain strong. What do I mean by this? Well, frying, of course. Whenever we have too much of something in the South, we deep fry it. You think I’m kidding? I’m not. And the deep South knows how to fry food. Fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried hushpuppies…you name it, they know how to fry it!
A couple of years ago, I posted my favorite hushpuppies recipe, and a reader asked if I had ever made squash puppies. At the time, I’d never heard of squash puppies, but I’ve come across this concept a couple of times now. And Zucchini Hushpuppies are delicious! You can use either zucchini or yellow squash (summer squash) to make these Zucchini Hushpuppies, too. I find that the texture is nothing short of delicious! Even after pressing out as much water as possible, the batter is still rather wet. But once fried, that yields hushpuppies with a light and airy inside and a crispy outside.
This recent batch was served up to a group of friends, and it didn’t last long! Like any fried food, though, these Zucchini Hushpuppies (or squash puppies if you use yellow squash) are best eaten fresh. Enjoy that garden and fresh summer produce, my friends!
Looking for some more recipes? Check out some of my other favorite Southern recipes!
- Chop squash into 2” pieces and place in a steamer basket. Steam for 16-18 minutes, or until squash is very tender. (Note: Alternatively, you can microwave diced squash for 5-6 minutes, or until very tender.)
- Transfer cooked squash into a separate bowl and mash using a fork until smooth. Place squash in a large colander and use paper towels to press squash gently but firmly. Try to remove as much excess water as possible.
- Using a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper).
- In another bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, grated onion, green onions and (optional) jalapeno. Pour this wet mixture into bowl with dry ingredients. Add mashed squash and stir just until combined. (Note: Do not overmix.) Let mixture stand for 10 minutes.
- Using a deep fryer or a large Dutch oven, heat the canola or vegetable oil to 375°F. Oil should be ~2-3” deep. (An easy way to check the temperature is to drop a pinch of flour in the oil. If it bubbles up and turns brown quickly, then the oil is ready to go.)
- Using two spoons or a small ice cream scoop, drop rounded tablespoons of batter into oil. (Tip: Fry these hush puppies in batches of 8-10 to avoid overcrowding pan.)
- Fry until golden brown (~3-4 minutes).
- Using a metal slotted spoon, remove hush puppies from the oil and let drain on paper towels or brown paper bags.
- Salt lightly before serving.