One of the best things about growing up in a small Texas town is the food.
Sure, Southerners get a bad rap for deep-frying just about everything that doesn't move (and yes, we really do that). But jeez, sometimes you just CRAVE a side dish that's hot, brown and just a little bit crunchy - like cornbread.
Never heard of fried cornbread? Well, Hot Water Cornbread as it's called is a staple that's celebrated in my Granbury, Texas hometown. No place puts it on a higher pedestal than the cornbread cathedral, the Nutt House Hotel.
My Granbury Facebook friends unearthed this crazy good recipe from the Nutt House (insert your own joke here). It's an easy dish to prepare and the result is cornbread with a delicate crunch and a soft, chewy inside that melts in your mouth.
If you want to really enjoy this delicious dish, serve it with some black eyed peas and a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade.
The exact legacy of this recipe is unclear, but we're giving joint credit to Nutt House Hotel matriarch, Mary Lou Watkins and the restaurant's head chef, Emma Perkins.
1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. shortening
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbs. warm water
Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Add shortening.
Bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil; add to cornmeal mixture, stirring well. Let cool 20 minutes. Combine baking powder and 2 tablespoons water. Add to cornmeal mixture; stir.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Press each ball between two fingers to make a slight indention on two sides.
Carefully drop shaped dough into deep hot oil (375 degrees); cook only a few at a time. Fry 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Yield: Approximately 2 1/2 dozen.