Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Studio 5: Spicy Corn Fritters

** As a side note, I made these for dinner
tonight with a main course Spinach Salad, it was perfect summer meal.  I used the batter I made on air.  The balls broke up a bit in the oil, so I added some more cornmeal/flour.  I think it's because corn varies in size and starchiness, so be flexible when making this. 

In preparing for this cooking segment I asked some friends and family "what is your favorite corn recipe".  Every single person said "corn on the cob".  Really, it's a perfect food, just boil, season and eat! 
Since you all know how to boil corn, the challenge was on.  Create a recipe bursting with fresh corn flavor that wasn't corn on the cob!

I'm happy to report that these corn fritters are almost 90% corn!  Too many corn fritter recipes are mostly flour with a little corn.  By creating this corn puree with its natural starchiness, I was able to get a perfectly light batter with just a little bit of flour.  You get the texture and taste of corn, all in this little sweet & spicy bite.  I'll warn you...They are kind of addictive.

If you're nervous about the amount of Cayenne, use half the amount, fry one to taste and add more if it's not spicy enough.   Enjoy!

Spicy Corn Fritters
Recipe by Susan Neal
Corn Puree
6 large ears of fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1/2 large onion
2 stalks of celery
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
Olive oil
Kosher Salt & Fresh ground pepper

Directions:  Cut off corn kernels.  Spread kernels on baking sheet, toss with a little olive oil and salt & pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, cut corn cobs in half and put in a large pot with vegetables and bay leaf and 8 cups of water, or until contents of pot are almost covered.  Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain and discard cobs and vegetables.

Place stock back in pot and add roasted corn kernels.   Cook for 15 more minutes until mixture thickens.  It should cover a spoon, when dipped in and removed.  This is approx because it all depends on 1. the size of your corn cobs and 2. how much starch the cobs hold.  At this point you can use an immersion blender directly in the pot, or puree in blender.  Liquid will be hot, so if using blender only do small batches at a time.  Refrigerate until cold.  Can keep for a few days in the fridge or longer in the freezer.  You should have about 4 cups of puree when you're done.

You now have a wonderful corn puree that is the base of the Corn Fritters.  Alternatively, you could use this base to make a nice corn soup.  Keep it chunky for a chowder; add diced potatoes, celery, bacon and some cream, OR for a more refined soup, strain puree and add a little cream.  Don't forget to season.  This corn puree will freeze, so take advantage of our short corn season and put some away for later (Thanksgiving would be a great time to use this).

Corn Fritters

4 cups Corn Puree
4 cups fresh corn kernels cut from the cob
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp fresh group Pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
Canola oil to fry

Add fresh corn kernels to puree and then the rest of the ingredients.  Batter will be quite loose (this ensures a tender fritter.  However, depending on the moisture content of your puree, you may want to add a little more flour or cornmeal.

Drop small scoops of batter into hot oil.  I like to have oil at 325 so it browns a little more slowly and insides cook properly.  You may want to do a few test fritters first (such a hardship!).

Keep hot in 325 oven for up to 30 minutes  if you're not ready to eat.

These are delicious as is, but you can serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or my easy Garlic Lime Aioli.

Garlic Lime Aioli

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream or half & half
Juice & zest of one Lime
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chopped chives
Kosher salt

Mix together.  Reduce or increase cream for desire consistency


mE said...

Well, there went my healthy eating for this week.. hahaha! I'm sooo making these this week. YUM! Thank you :)


janpat said...

Is there a substitute that could be used in place of the corn puree? obviously it won't have the same wonderfulness but if there is no time to prepare the puree what would work for the fritters instead?

Susan Neal said...

Thanks for the query...I've actually been thinking about this too. I've been making the corn puree and freezing it so I have enough to last through to next corn season, however, I may run out (LOL). I think that using a can of creamed corn, while lacking the freshness, should work. Ingredients on a can of creamed corn is corn, water, starch, sugar and salt. THat's pretty close, so I would try that. Would certainly save a ton of time. Would you let me know (leave a comment) if it works! Thanks!

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