At Lillie’s Q, hushpuppies—little cornbread fritters you could eat like popcorn—get a dose of zesty pimento cheese for extra richness.
For the Pimento Cheese
- 3⁄4 cup grated sharp yellow cheddar, at room temperature
- 1 whole pickled jalapeño, minced
- 1⁄2 6-oz. jar pimentos, drained and chopped
- pinches Kosher salt
- pinches white or black pepper
- pinches ground cayenne
- 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
For the Hushpuppies
- 3⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
- 1⁄2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
- 3 oz. beer
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 cup minced scallions
- 1 1⁄2 oz. jarred pimentos, drained
- 2 tbsp. pimento cheese (recipe above)
- 1⁄3 cup aged shredded white cheddar
- 7 cups canola oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the beer and egg until frothy. Add the scallions, pimentos, pimento cheese, and cheddar and stir to combine.
- Add the beer and cheese mixture to the dry ingredients in batches, stirring to combine. Let stand one hour.
- Add the canola oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and preheat to 350° using a deep-fat thermometer. Scoop 2-tablespoon balls of the batter into the oil a few at a time. Fry, turning occasionally as needed with a slotted spoon, until golden brown on the outside and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve warm, with the extra pimento cheese for dipping.