Lately we’ve been frying up a batch of these deliciously crunchy deep-fried cornmeal sticks whenever soup or stew is on the menu. The crunchy sticks are fun to dunk, and the buttery center has just a hint of sweetness, making them the perfect complement to spicy gumbo and our favorite hot chili. Our kids like the leftovers reheated and served with creamy dip for lunch the next day, but the sticks are so hard to resist that they often disappear as we nibble them for breakfast with our morning coffee.
Sometimes we’ll make a heartier variation of these cornmeal sticks by stirring 1/2 cup of shredded cheese into the dough before shaping. This cheesy version makes a wonderful appetizer or accompaniment to brunch.
Deep Fried Cornmeal Sticks
60 minutes to prepare serves 4
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne
- Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan.
- Stir in sugar, butter and salt. Continue stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat to low. Whisk in 2/3 cup cornmeal and seasonings until smooth. Stir in the rest of the cornmeal until dough is smooth and forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let dough cool for about 5 minutes.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a deep fryer or large saucepan.
- Grease your hands with a little vegetable oil, and scoop out about 3 tablespoons of dough. Roll the dough into a ball and then roll the ball between your hands to form a smooth stick about 3-inches long. Continue until all of the dough has been formed into sticks.
- Deep-fry sticks in small batches for 3 to 4 minutes. The sticks are done when they turn a rich golden yellow color.
- Remove the sticks from the hot oil, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes