Sunday, June 3, 2007

Corn Fritters

Like Tes said once, there's nothing like fried. This is my refinement of a recipe from Bittman.

Pour peanut oil to a depth of about two inches in a high-sided pan and heat it up over med-high heat while you're assembling the batter.

Shuck and de-silk two ears of fresh, perfect, sweet corn, the candy of vegetables, the pure refined essence of summer. Rub the ears with a paper towel to get the last bit of silk off. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the kernels into a bowl, and scrape the ears to get all that good juice out of them too.

In a mixing bowl, combine 4 tbsp. masa harina, 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. sugar, a few generous grinds of black pepper, and a few dashes of cayenne. In another bowl, beat an egg with 1/4 cup of milk, then add that to the dry ingredients. Mix to form a thick-but-smooth batter. You might need to add a little more milk. Mix in the corn.

The oil should ideally be at about 365-375 degrees, but if you don't have a thermometer that goes that high (I don't), just drop a little of the batter in and see how it behaves. It should start to puff up and brown in pretty short order.

Drop the batter by spoonfuls into the oil and fry till golden brown, rolling them around as necessary with a wire skimmer. Each batch should take about 4-5 minutes to cook. Drain the fritters as they come out of the pot and keep them warm in the oven.

You'll end up with two comfortable servings, or quite a hell of a lot for one person. I like them with pico de gallo (tomatoes, onions, jalapeƱos, and cilantro chopped up in whatever proportions you like and mixed with a squeeze of lime juice) and some finely sliced cabbage.

And that, friends, is what I call breakfast.

(I've really got to get another battery for my camera; this stuff looks beautiful on the plate.)


T said...

Mmmm...maybe I've found one of my goodies for tomorrow evening's sitting-out-in-the-backyard-with-beers....

Rob said...

Oh yeah, they'd sure be good for that. Man. Just reading this makes me want to make them again right this very minute.

Mike said...

For many years of childhood, homemade corn fritters in the style of a particular defunct restaurant in Frederick (Peter Pan Inn) were my chosen birthday dinner. No pico de nada, though, just powdered sugar. And then brownies with mocha icing, refrigerated overnight after baking... a maternal recipe I've adapted by moving the coffee from the icing into the cake part and flavoring the icing with bourbon.

Ed Bruske said...

Like the sound of this. Even better with fresh, local corn.

My method for getting the kernels off the cob: invert a small bowl inside a large bowl. Stand the corn cob on top of the smaller bowl. Cut kernels off with sharp knife. They will fall into the larger bowl. Use the back of the knife to scrape all the juice off the cob.

Rob said...

Powdered sugar, eh? Hm. I can't quite wrap my brain around these as sweet and not savory. Bittman mentions serving them with maple syrup. And I remember begin kind of baffled the first time I went to Silver Pig BBQ in Lynchburg, when they gave me a little plastic tub of honey to dip my hush puppies in. When I think of corn, I immediately think of "Southwestern" flavors to go with. Chilis, cumin, garlic, sweet bell peppers, cilantro, etc. Or else dark meaty flavors: bacon, barbecue, steaks off the grill, etc.

On the other hand, sweet corn ice cream is a pretty joyful thing. Dammit, I've just got to get myself an ice cream maker soon.

Cool technique, Ed. That makes every kind of sense.