Crab Hushpuppies with Avocado Aioli
Hands On Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes
2 ripe Haas avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon grease, plus additional vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces special or backfin crab meat (see note)
5 scallions, thinly sliced
To make the avocado aioli: Place the avocado, mayonnaise, lemon juice, jalapeño and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste the aioli and season with salt and pepper.
To make the hushpuppies: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, begin heating 2 inches of the vegetable oil to 375 degrees over medium-high heat. Alternatively, heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees in a deep fryer following the manufacturer’s directions. Line a large plate with paper towels.
While the oil is heating, combine the buttermilk, egg and 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar, pepper, baking soda and cayenne. Gently whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined, taking care not to overwork the batter. Fold in the crab and scallions.
When the oil is hot, use a small, 1-ounce scoop or spoon to gently lower 6 to 8 balls of the batter into the hot oil. You should use about half of the batter. (If using a spoon, spray the surface with cooking spray to allow the batter to slide more easily off of the spoon.) Fry until the exterior is golden brown and the hushpuppies are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Let drain on the prepared plate and then transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with the avocado aioli.
Photo Credit: Maura Friedman
About the recipe
These crispy hushpuppies are great as a side dish or as an appetizer.
Special and backfin are different grades of crab meat. Special crab meat consists of the smaller pieces of white meat from the body of the crab and is great to use as a stuffing. Backfin crab meat is a mixture of jumbo lumb crab and special grade crab meat. It’s great for stuffing, as well as in crab cakes, dips and salads.
Frying the hushpuppies at 375 degrees will keep the exterior browned and prevent the fritters from absorbing grease.