I recently took a trip to a few cities in the southern United States – places that truly take pride in the local definition of Barbecue. Each region had slightly different base flavours, slightly different techniques, slightly different recipes yielding a whole cornucopia of differing results. It was truly an amazing experience. The thing that seemed to remain constant was the side dishes that were offered alongside your hunk of barbecued meat. One of my favourites – hushpuppies. I had no idea what they were composed of at the time, but I was completely intrigued by their crispy exterior and light, fluffy centre. I thought they were made with a complex, old southern recipe, but I was wrong. They are ridiculously easy to make

I had to make them… with bacon.

Ingredients

6 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

½ cup flour

1½ cup corn flour

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 onion

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

Makes about 3 dozen small hushpuppies

Directions

1. Slice up your bacon real nice and fine and throw it into your pan to get it all nice and crispy.

2. While your bacon is doing its thing, grab a small onion and also give it a nice fine dicing. We want the onion to be pretty fine because it is only going to be slightly cooked inside the hushpuppy and we don’t want to bite into a huge chunk of onion – unless you’re into that sort of thing.

3. Measure out your dry ingredients (both kinds of flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda) and toss that into a nice big bowl.

4. Add your onions in there too while you’re at it.

5. Heck, why don’t you throw your crispy bacon in, as well.

6. Beat your egg together with your buttermilk, then add it into the bowl with your dry ingredients. Gently fold everything together until it’s a nice light batter. Don’t over-mix, because it won’t be fluffy anymore!

7. Fry these bad boys in some vegetable oil at 350°F. They only need a couple minutes to get golden brown and crispy!

a. Now, I made mine a little larger than normal, so I had to cook them a little longer to allow the insides to cook. If you make them smaller, they don`t need to cook as long.

8. Put these alongside your favourite dish, or just eat them with your favourite dipping sauce on their own for your dinner. They`re that good.

9. OR put them with your Baconized New England Clam Chowder –stay tuned for this!