Crab hush puppies and hanky pankies: Comfort treats are a trend we're eating up

Hanky pankies. Hush puppies. Just the names of the classic comfort snacks take us back to childhood, when we had very few things to worry about – least of all our waistlines.

With gussied-up comfort food all the rage nowadays, we asked Chris Hodgson, the restaurant king of Cleveland and winner of Food & Wine’s The People' Best New Chef: Great Lakes award, to show us how it’s done.

Watch him make mouthwatering hanky pankies with chorizo, cheese and blackberry jam and hush puppies taken to a whole new level – made with blue crab and served up with his Old Bayonnaise sauce. Go ahead, indulge – after all, fair food season in just around the corner and it's time to celebrate!

Hanky pankies Matt Toder/TODAY

Hanky pankies

  • 1 cup chorizo
  • 1/2 cup inexpensive goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup Tilamook cheddar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Baguette
  • Olive oil
  • Blackberry jam

Heat oil in large pan on medium high heat. Brown chorizo. Add milk, cheddar and goat cheese. Stir and allow mixture to melt together. Let it bubble for a few seconds and then remove from heat.

Refrigerate mixture for about 45 minutes, until it’s solid

Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees.

Slice baguette on a bias, about ¼-inch thick. Lay slices on baking sheet and top with about a golf-ball size amount of mixture and spread evenly on the toast.

Bake for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Top with blackberry jam and a sprinkling of thyme.

Blue crab hush puppies

  • 1 ½ cups self-rising corn meal
  • ½ cup self-rising flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Spanish onion, minced
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pound crab claw
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Oil for frying

Mix corn meal, flour, baking soda, salt, crab, scallion, and minced onions in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add buttermilk and combine.

Slowly fold wet ingredients into dry. Carefully mix until combined.

Take the hush puppy mix and make golf-ball size balls. Slowly drop them into pot of oil heated at 375 degrees.

Allow them to fry for about 5 minutes, until they are nice and golden brown.

Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper-towel lined plate.

When you’re ready to serve, top it with a sauce of your choice. Try this Old Bayonnaise, which goes perfectly with anything fried!


Join the TODAY Food Club NOW for a chance to win the Ultimate Cookware Giveaway.