I've made these things for a long time, ever since I first learned how to properly deep fry food when I first lived in the South back in the early nineties. I think it's kind of funny that after all these years, the other night was the first time it ever dawned on me to use a portion scoop to make them. Previously, I dropped the batter from a spoon and always ended up with a nice free-form look to them.
The portion scoop makes a really nice, beautiful globe of fried goodness. I suppose it makes them look like hush puppies... which I guess technically they are. I'm not sure any true Southerner would call these hush puppies, however. In my experience, hush puppies are much more dense than these balls of fried cornbread.
I made them two different sizes the other night. What you see in the above picture is the larger size. The 2 tablespoon portion scoop made large 2-bite balls that took a good while to cook all the way through and were a little more dense. The 2 teaspoon portion scoop made perfect single bite nuggets that weren't quite so perfectly shaped, but ended up much lighter and almost fluffy inside. The smaller ones also cooked much more quickly, which was good for me since I am very impatient.
Make them whatever size you want, just be sure that you don't have your oil heated too hot or the outside will get too dark before the inside is completely cooked. There's nothing worse than having a gooey-inside piece of fried cornbread. To be sure they're cooked all the way, stick an instant read thermometer inside and look for a temperature above 175 degrees F.
Mix together the wet ingredients. I used creamed corn I had put up in the freezer, but you can certainly use canned cream corn.
Then mix together the dry ingredients. Yellow cornmeal is a must here to get that gorgeous yellow hue in the finished product. Fry for 2-5 minutes (depending on their size) in oil that is between 330 and 360 degrees F. I like to start with the temperature on the high side so that after I add a few blobs of batter, the temperature is still high enough to get a good crust on the finished product.
Yield: approximately 20-40 pieces, depending on size
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup creamed corn
2 TBS melted and cooled butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup diced onion
Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately and then add the wet to the dry mixture. Stir thoroughly. Drop by the spoonful (2 tsp to 2 TBS) into hot oil (approx. 330 to 360 degrees F) and cook until golden brown and cooked through. To ensure they are completely cooked inside, use an instant read thermometer to check for a temperature over 175 degrees. Let cool slightly on a paper towel before serving.
NOTE: Smaller pieces will have a lighter, fluffier texture than large pieces, which is simply a matter of personal preference. If you want an even lighter, fluffier end product, add a little more milk so that the batter is a little looser; this allows for quicker expansion when the batter hits the hot oil, leading to a lighter cornbread.