Sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. If used, add the minced chives. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat egg until yolk and white are combined; beat in milk to combine. Add sifted dry ingredients, stirring lightly until moistened. (Batter thickens quickly after mixing.) Drop heaping teaspoonful of batter for each hush puppy into hot fat.
Fry only a few at a time, until golden brown for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once. (Do not pierce with a fork when turning.) Drain on paper towels.