Appalachia Appalachian Food Fishing

Mountain Beans – Hush Puppies – Tarter Sauce

Best ever hush puppie recipe

We’ve been talking about fish for the last two weeks-and I finally got to eat some over the weekend. When it comes to having a fish fry-no one can do it like Papaw Tony. The menu he served: fried pike, hush puppies, mountain beans, fresh corn and tomatoes, slaw, homemade tarter sauce, and cantaloupe.

Papaw Tony makes the best hush puppies you ever tasted-well at least the best I ever tasted. I got him to share his recipe with us.

Old timey hushpuppies

First mix together one cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper in a bowl.

Onion hushpuppies

Chop 3 medium onions-set aside.


Add 1/4 cup milk to the dry ingredients and stir well.

Next stir in the onions. The batter will be thick-but Papaw said not to worry-enough liquid will come out of the onions and sugar to make the hush puppies moist.

Papaws hush puppies

Papaw uses 2 spoons to drop the hush puppies into hot oil-and fries them till golden brown.

Mountain beans

Mountain beans is one of my favorite things to eat when we visit Papaw. The recipe couldn’t be easier. Cook 3/4 of a medium onion chopped fine in a little oil till it starts to turn brown-then add a can of pork n beans and stir. The Deer Hunter said when he was little, Papaw and him camped a lot in the middle prong area of Haywood County. Papaw cooked the beans with onions while they camped-cause it was an easy thing to fix. And since they were indeed in the mountains-he started calling them mountain beans.

Tarter sauce recipe

Papaw even makes his own tarter sauce.

Mix together- 16oz of sour cream, sweet pickle relish to taste, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise. Chill till ready to serve. (Papaw said I should warn you-that makes a lot of tarter sauce-but you could reduce the amounts if you needed less)

Papaw fries his fish like many folks do-he dips the fillets in an egg wash-then in flour-then in bread crumbs and fries till golden brown-but not over cooked.

His advice on the fish:  find somebody who has them and then steal them. That’s actually how Papaw got our fish for supper-but it was all in good fun as he only stole them from his friend’s freezer with the help of the friend’s son.



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  • Reply
    Debbie Nixon
    September 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    My cousins hush puppies are out of this world great. She grates here onions into the cornmeal and uses the juice it creates with an egg for her liquid she then adds milk to get the consistency she needs but most of it will come from the juice of the onion and egg. She does use sugar and sometimes jalapenos.
    I am telling you hers are fantastic.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    September 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Now THAT’S a dinner I can live with!!!

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    August 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Tipper: I always have frozen fish available. It’s too bad we live so far away. We could have a great fish fry.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Got this saved and I will be trying them. Thanks for sharing the recipes Tipper and Papaw Tony!

  • Reply
    Sallie Covolo
    August 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Yummy, my favorite food. Thanks for the recipes,

  • Reply
    Madge @ The View From Right Here
    August 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Oh my gosh, Tipper, that looks SO delicious… I’m fasting for a medical procedure tomorrow… so it looks doubly good!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    i am drooling on my keyboard. i copied the tartar sauce, i already new how to make the hush puppies. i love both. been a long time since i went to a fish fry.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm


  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Did I tell you that I like to use hush puppies for bait? Put ’em on your hook and the fish will jump in the boat trying to get away from them.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Whatever them toothy critters, pike, walleye, walleyed pike, or muskie, they are in Fontana and come up the little Tennessee. They shore are some good eaten. You better not lip ’em if you like keeping your thumbs.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    August 6, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Wondered where you got pike. We caught them in Ohio. If they were big enough the bones were no problem and they were delicious.We just threw the little hammer handles back. I used to cook beans in an iron kettle suspended over a wood fire. My grandson started calling them campfire beans and that’s what they are still called.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Wow! I love fried Pike. Tony makes
    everything look so good I can just
    taste it. Good thing he’s got some
    friendly neighbors that are lake
    fishers that share. Looks like I’m
    gonna have to start lake fishin’
    again. I never tried sugar in my
    hushpuppies but next time I’ll do

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Tipper–Lawsy amercy, you sure do know how to hurt a body who loves his vittles. Your blog also brought to light something which is common throughout the mountains (and is wrong).
    I will virtually guarantee that the fish you ate were not pike but walleye. Mountain folks commonly call them walleyed pike, but walleyes are actually a member of the perch family (and some of the finest eating fish on God’s green earth). There are no pike in the mountains although there are cousins–muskies. Many of the larger lakes have walleyes in them.
    Incidentally, pike are not an ideal eating fish because they are so bony. It you get a big one (say 40 inches are more) you can do a fairly good job of avoiding the bones, but not with the smaller ones often called ax handles. You find them in more northerly climes, and they are plentiful in Canada.
    One final thought–I want to be invited to supper next time.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    August 6, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Wonderful recipes, thanks. I was just looking for a good tartar sauce recipe and this one sounds perfect!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Yum! I’ve never been much on tarter sauce, but this recipe sounds good. I was wondering where the Pike came from…Isn’t that a fish common to MN and Canada? I don’t recall ever seeing it for sell in the grocery stores or local fish market. Stolen fish is always tastier:)

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    August 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

    LOL, Tipper! My dear husband has been promising me a fishing trip to get pike and walleye for 27 years! Now that we’re up here in Michigan and those fish live up here, too, you’d think I could get that fishing trip! LOVE those recipes. I’m going to keep them in my “fish supper” book. Maybe I’ll get to have them with my fresh-caught fish one of these days (hopefully before I’m too old to reel in the fish)!

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    August 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Thanks to you and Papaw Tony for the recipes. What’s the chance of getting the slaw recipe?

  • Reply
    August 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I would like a big plate of that for breakfast this morning. I love fried fish and hushpuppies!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    August 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

    a little onion makes lots of things taste better!!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    August 6, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Do Papaw’s have a special handle on cooking fish and hushpuppies and all the mountain trimmings? When my dear husband Grover, whom his 7 grandchildren called Papaw, was able to cook (and he was a good one!) there were two things in particular the grandkinds wanted Papaw to cook when they visited us for their weeks in the summer. One was his special fried fish and hushpuppies, and the other was his pancakes for breakfast! Hard as I tried, I could never exactly duplicate his expertise. And so I was glad to make the grandkids (and me!) happy by letting him do these special menus for them! They still talk about the “Good times at Papaw’s house and his good food!” And where was Grandma [namely me] when all of this went on? Having some fanciful play with the grandkids or reading them stories until the food got ready! Happy days!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    August 6, 2012 at 8:41 am

    My taste buds are watering. When one is trying to drop a few pounds and it is a Monday, I am subconsciously tasting all of it. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    August 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

    My family ate fish with white fish gravy over cornbread. I like hushpuppies better, but it seems no one has ever heard of fish gravy. Maybe it is a thing of the past.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    August 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

    That looks delicious! I like his idea on getting the fish too.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    August 6, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Good ole country eating–I will try those beans cooked that way and the other recipes as well. Ya’ll have a blessed week.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    August 6, 2012 at 8:16 am

    YUM ! Nuff said!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 6, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I know apples and watermelons taste better if they are stolen but I didn’t even think about fish. Poached poached pisces? No! filched fried fish. Yum!
    I’ve been sitting here with my bib on for two long weeks but I think this is worth the wait.
    Tell Papaw Tony to try cutting some of that sweet sweet corn off the cob and add it to the batter. Don’t forget to milk the cob.
    My name is Papaw too. You reckon we’re related?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Now that sounds like one fine dinner. Papaw can do some cooking when it comes to fish and hush puppies. I’m surprised he’s giving out his secret recipes!
    Call me next time and I’ll drop by for a sample!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I think I could even eat this right now for breakfast! Looks yummy!

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    August 6, 2012 at 4:19 am

    This post and pictures made me so hungry my stomach started chewing on my backbone. The only thing I would have added would have been a little bit of garlic salt to the hushpuppies and made some of my homemade tater wedges. Have a super day 🙂

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