Makes 20 – 25

In honor of the start of crab season!

6 cups peanut oil for frying
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 – 2 tablespoons of your favourite hot sauce
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
4 large scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat

Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over high heat until it registers 350°F on a deep fry thermometer.

While oil is heating, stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk hot sauce, egg and milk in a small bowl, then add to cornmeal mixture and stir until combined. Fold in crab meat. Sauté scallions in butter until soft and stir into batter.

Using two teaspoons and working in batches, carefully add 1 rounded teaspoon of batter per hush puppy to hot oil and fry, turning, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain briefly. Transfer hush puppies to a shallow baking pan and keep hot in 250 degree oven while frying remaining batter. Return oil to 350°F between batches.

Note: You can also cheat using any good cornbread mix. Just follow directions and add crab, scallions and hot pepper or sauce. Test one to be sure batter holds together. If not, add a bit of flour.

Serve immediately with romesco sauce or any other dipping sauce of your choice


Serves 6 – 8

One of my favorite recipes from my James Beard award winning book: Culinary Birds.

12 dried Ancho chilies
1 6 – 8 pound turkey, cut into serving pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided
1 stale tortilla roughly chopped
1 pound tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup toasted blanched almonds
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped
Salt to taste
Fresh lime juice

Serve with fresh tortillas, queso fresco and cilantro sprigs, if desired

Toast the chilies in a dry frying pan until puffed and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn or they will be bitter. Tear off the stems, shake out the seeds and tear into pieces. Put into a bowl with hot water to cover and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Put the turkey pieces into a large, heavy pan, cover with cold, salted water and simmer very gently covered for 1 hour. Drain, reserving the stock. Pat the turkey pieces dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a large frying pan and sauté the turkey pieces in batches until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to a large flame proof casserole, reserving the oil.

In a food processor combine the onions, garlic, fennel seeds, half of the sesame seeds, tortilla, tomatoes, almonds, raisins, cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, peppercorns and chilies and process to a coarse puree. If necessary do this in batches.

Heat oil remaining in the frying pan over moderate heat and cook the puree, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add 2 or so cups of the reserved turkey broth, chocolate and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, over very low heat until the chocolate has melted. The sauce should be thick. Pour the sauce over the turkey pieces in the casserole and cook covered over low heat so that sauce just barely simmers for 30 – 40 minutes, or until turkey is tender. Remove turkey to a platter, adjust seasoning in sauce and thin if desired with more stock. Add fresh lime juice to taste. To serve: sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds, hot fresh tortillas, some crumbled queso fresco and cilantro sprigs.

John Ash (c) 2016