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.