In the fish camps of west Alabama the good citizens eat like country kings with endless platters of corn meal crusted catfish being trotted out in little rough hewn buildings that dot the forests surrounding the Tombigbee River as it makes it's way to the Port of Mobile.
As you move eastward in the great state, the focus of eating shifts from catfish to barbecue.
Particularly, the eating of the pig.
I've eaten all over Alabama and in my former job writing menus for a restaurant in Birmingham I created the following. The perfect collision, to me, of fish camp cuisine and the barbecue of little joints like Archibald's outside Tuscaloosa.
Barbecue Pork Stuffed Hush Puppies
6 c. oil, good quality lard or peanut works best
8 oz. smoked, shredded pork shoulder
3/4 c. cornmeal, self rising, yellow
1/2 c. flour. self rising
1 t. salt
2 t. pepper, black
1 t. mustard, dried prepared
1 large egg, from a hen raised out in the country
3/4 c. real buttermilk
1 bunch green onion, giant, minced
* Bring oil to 360 degrees in large cast iron dutch oven
* Sift together the cornmeal, seasonings and flour in large mixing bowl
* Beat the egg in large glass bowl
* Add the buttermilk.
* Add the green onion to the eggs and milk
* Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients
* Stir thoroughly
* Add the shredded pork to the batter
* Stir just enough to incorporate
* When the oil reaches 360 degrees begin dropping spoonfuls into the Dutch oven
* Fry until golden brown flipping as needed [ I use chopsticks ]
* Remove hushpuppies and place on plate lined with newspapers or paper towels
Barbecue pork stuffed hush puppies go great with just about anything but they definitely pair nicely with fried catfish or slow smoked pork shoulder.
If you can get your hands on a Grapico or Buffalo Rock soda then you will be ahead of the game by a significant measure
And yes, out here in Texas it would be permissible to eat them as a meal with a side of Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Bon Appetit Y'all
all barbecue coverage here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/Barbecue