Jalapeño Cod Hush Puppies with Cilantro Chimichurri

My second entry for the Saltfish Recipe Blogger Challenge puts a Southwest spin on a Southern favorite! Once it was flaked, the salt cod reminded me a little of crabmeat which I knew would be delicious in a sweet corn batter. These hush puppies get a kick from jalapeno and a bright cilantro chimichurri sauce to make them irresistible!

Jalapeño Cod Hush Puppies with Cilantro Chimichurri
Hush Puppies:

8 ounces Cristobal salt cod fish filets
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
½ cup sliced green onion

Cilantro Chimichurri:1 1/2 cups packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1 small clove garlic
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin

6 cups canola oil for frying

Place the salt cod filets in a bowl and cover with cold water. Refrigerate for 8 hours, draining the water and replacing it with fresh water every 2 hours. After 8 hours, rinse the cod in cold water, pat dry and cut into 3-inch sections.

Place the cod into a large sauce pot and cover with cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the cod flakes easily with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate small bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg. Make a well in the dry ingredients and begin to gently stir in the buttermilk mixture. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the cod, jalapeno and green onion until just mixed.

Place the cilantro, parsley, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and cumin in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a small dip bowl for serving.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or electric fryer to 350 degrees over medium-high heat. Working in batches, using a small cookie scoop, carefully spoon about 1 Tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil. Fry until deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet.

Serve immediately with the chimichurri sauce.

Makes 32 hush puppies

You can find Cristobal salt cod fish filets at: Brookshire Brothers, HEB, Fiesta, Food Town, H Mart, Kroger and Los Altos Ranch Market

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