My Favorite “Hush Puppies”

A fried catfish platter with French fries and hush puppies is a favorite Friday night supper during Lent. And you can’t find a better plate of a fried catfish than at the iconic Baton Rouge restaurant of Ralph and Kacoo’s Seafood. I wasn’t surprised when I checked out their internet site and saw that they boasted of being the largest seafood restaurant in the South with a seating capacity for 800 patrons. The restaurant is massive and everything about the place shouts “big.” The restaurant has an interesting saga. My favorite food and memory of Ralph and Kacoo’s Restaurant is however, not the catfish, but their hush puppies. Their little fried cornmeal treats are unique — just a touch of sweet with green onions and spices. The best ones that I ever have eaten. I am going to try to re-invent these hush puppies. However, rather than frying catfish, we’ll more likely serve them with broiled or baked catfish — I’ll save that recipe for another time.

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Variations on Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day

I asked a friend with Irish roots for a recipe which she associated with her family’s Irish heritage. She replied by mailing me several recipes for Irish Soda Bread. This is a quick bread and is leavened with baking powder, soda and buttermilk. It is shaped into a round loaf and often contains raisins or currants. When made properly it is tender and sweet. I found a pretty little casserole dish for baking the loaf and I’m baking it in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

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