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Long John Silvers

January 9, 2012 by staff 

Long John SilversLong John Silvers, This week I reached out for a 99-cent “Dollar Stretcher” order of six hush puppies, the unsung hero of the seafarin’ side-dish industry, at America’s No. 1 fishmonger drive-through, Long John Silver’s, with 1,200 restaurants from sea to shining sea.

Hush puppies are, simply put – yet so elegantly delicious – fried cornmeal balls. They’re not health food. Wait, I already said they were delicious.

One story of how the dish got its name has Confederate soldiers feeding cornmeal balls to their dogs to keep them quiet – “hush, puppies” – so enemy forces wouldn’t hear them.

Who cares? They’re greasy, they taste like fried corn muffins, they’re filling, they go great with fried fish and they’re addictive.

Here’s the blueprint: Cornmeal mixed with milk, eggs, salt, pepper and garlic, and tossed in the deep-fryer. Let them cool first!

Total calories: 60 (per pup). Fat grams: 2.5. Sodium: 200 mg. Carbs: 9 g. Fiber: 1 g. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: six for 99 cents. Your mileage may vary.

Hush puppies have been on the Long John Silver’s menu since the seafood chain started in 1969 in the coastal fishin’ village of, huh, Lexington, Ky.?

While Long John Silver’s restaurants were inspired by the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, and the restaurants’ architecture is decidedly Cape Cod, hush puppies are as Deep South as Paula Deen saying “y’all” 58 times during her half-hour cooking show. Long John Silver’s is the place where, when I visit, I wonder why I don’t eat there more often. It’s the ultimate change-of-pace drive-though. The fish is fried golden brown, and it’s crunchy as all get out. I LOVE the fried clams, the ultimate add-on to any Long John’s meal. Even the fried chicken fingers (called “planks,” matey), are fun. Long John Silver’s even has a lower-calorie grilled fish menu, featuring grilled tilapia, Pacific salmon and shrimp scampi.

Hush puppies are offered as a side dish and throw-ins with many platters. They’re about the size of pingpong balls.

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