LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A lot goes into planning the perfect Derby party, which means you don't want to stress when it comes to food.
Chef Annie Pettry, at Decca on E. Market St. fries delicious Derby-friendly hushpuppies that your guests will rave over. Pettry likes to experiment with different Southern cornmeal and prefers to use farm-fresh buttermilk.
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch black pepper
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
½ large onion, minced
Preheat fryer or deep, heavy-bottomed pot with vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and spices.
Cut in cold butter and rub between fingers to incorporate until butter becomes small, pebble-sized pieces.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add egg mixture and onion. Fold until just barely together. Do not over-mix.
Working in batches, use a tablespoon to scoop batter into the hot oil. Fry, flipping hushpuppies frequently until dark, golden brown. Remove from oil and sprinkle with salt while hot. Serve immediately.
Chef Annie Pettry is known for developing soulful dishes that combine bright flavors with the best ingredients of the South and Appalachia. With an ingredient-driven mindset and adventurous palate, Pettry creates her own take on American cuisine at her warm Louisville restaurant Decca. A two-time Food & Wine "People's Best New Chef" nominee, Pettry was named a "rising star" by Restaurant Hospitality and StarChefs, won Louisville's Cochon 555 competition, and recently competed on "Top Chef."
On the eve of Derby, Top Chef fans will get to meet some of last season's Top Chef: Charleston stars at the "Beats & Eats" event in the Cellar Lounge at Decca (812. E Market St.). Revelers can mingle with Katsuji Tanabe, Gerald Sombright, and season winner Brooke Williamson while enjoying old-school hip-hop music from DJ Ryan Rugger, drink specials and a one-night-only late-night menu of the chefs' favorite snacks, all under $10. The Derby Eve event scheduled for Friday, May 5, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., is free to attend.
Decca makes its home in a historically renovated 1870's building, and features two intimate dining rooms, a private dining room, an outdoor courtyard, and a beautiful brick and limestone cellar for libations and revelry. Decca is open Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m., with the Cellar Lounge open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.