Recipes

Creamed Spinach Hush Puppies

A steakhouse side meets a fried Southern classic
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Photo: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table
Hush Puppies
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It wouldn't be a true steakhouse experience without a side of creamed spinach . . . right? Maybe there's some room for improvement: Modern steakhouse Quality Eats in NYC is serving a twist on the traditional side, turning it into golden hush puppies. The crisp fried balls of spinach and cheese are served alongside a creamy roast beef dipping sauce (meet demi-glace, your new favorite ingredient).

Having the oil at the right temperature is the most important part to hush puppy success—and making sure you let the insides of the balls cook without getting them too dark on the outside. Then just let them cool for a minute after frying. There's a ton of steam in there waiting to escape, so don't burn yourself.

To learn more, read "High Steaks."

Creamed Spinach Hush Puppies

Recipe adapted from Ryan Bartlow, Quality Eats, New York, NY

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting time

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes, plus resting time

Ingredients

For the Hush Puppies:

⅓ cup, plus 1 tablespoon, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

5 cups (5 ounces) spinach

¾ cup room-temperature cream cheese

½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 egg

Canola oil, for frying

For the Roast Beef Aioli:

¾ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup veal demi-glace, divided

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon olive oil

4 garlic cloves, finely grated

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Prepare the hush puppies: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the spinach for 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice water. Using a towel, wring out the excess moisture from the spinach, then finely chop. Transfer to a large bowl with the cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon zest and egg, then mix until incorporated.

3. Fold the dry ingredients into the spinach mixture until a smooth batter comes together. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes before frying. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 inches of canola oil to 325º. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, make the roast beef aioli: In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of the demi-glace, the sherry vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle the remaining demi-glace over top.

5. When the oil is up to temperature, drop 2 tablespoon-sized scoops of batter into the oil in batches. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the prepared plate to drain. Transfer to a platter and serve with the roast beef aioli on the side.

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