Lauren Groveman a recipe for delicious living

Corn Fritters

(July 12, 2007)
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Shari asked Lauren:

Dear Lauren,

I've been making your Sautéed Fresh Corn recipe ever since I first read it in the Gazette…and we just LOVE it! The problem is that I usually have leftovers and I never know what to do with them. I know I could "halve" the recipe but it's so good that I'm never sure just how much my family will eat so I always make the whole batch. Can you give me an idea of how to use the leftover cooked corn with peppers and onions in a way that feels really different so my family doesn't think they're eating "yesterdays food" (which they have a real aversion to)…Thanks so much for your recipes (and for your advice).

Lauren says...

Personally, I (like you) have always made the full amount of this corn (side dish) recipe because it's just so delicious that my family goes crazy for it. Having said that I, too, find myself with leftovers because it's a large recipe (and I also hate to make it smaller, because it's just so good…So funny). Anyway, there are lots of things to do with the leftovers. For example, you can stir the cooked corn into rice just before applying the lid to simmer. You can also toss the leftover corn into salads, or simmer it in chicken broth with some diced potato and then puree the whole thing for a smooth (and great) corn soup. But (to tell the truth), if I had to tell you my MOST favorite thing to do with the leftovers, it would be to make Corn Fritters. Trust me, if you like this sort-a-thing, you'll go "ga-ga," over these.

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Corn Fritters

Yield: 20 corn fritters (serves 6 to 8)

Corn Fritters

Crisp, tender, light, yet toothsome, these corn fritters are just perfect. And the best part, you get to utilize leftover Sautéed Corn with Peppers and Onions in a totally different way. Any time I've suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that's unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management to get more information.

    Special Equipment:

  • Batter whisk (optional), to gently combine the batter ingredients, (or use a wide blending fork)
  • Deep-fry thermometer
  • Medium-size, oval or round ice cream scoop with a liquid capacity of 2 generous tablespoons (optional)
  • Spatter shield (optional but suggested)
  • Slotted utensil
    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lightly packed, leftover Sautéed Corn with Peppers and Onions (or see the end of step #1)
  • 4 slices bacon, fried until crisp, drained and crumbled (optional)
  • 1½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine table salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Rounded 1/2 teaspoon paprika (use sweet or smoked bitter-sweet paprika)
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 3 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (only if corn is not sweet)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Flavorless vegetable oil, as needed, for frying
  • Maple syrup, as an accompaniment (optional)

1) If not using leftover sautéed corn, do this: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat and, when bubbling, stir in 1 small-medium chopped onion. Sauté the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, fragrant and just starting to turn golden. Stir in 1 small seeded and chopped red bell pepper, along with the crumbled bacon, if using, and cook together briefly just to coat the onions with the flavor of the peppers, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Cut the kernels off of 3 ears of corn into a bowl and then use the knife to scrape any milky substance from the cob itself into the bowl of corn. Turn the heat under the skillet back on to high and add 2 more tablespoons of butter along with the corn and corn milk. Stir as the corn heats along with the vegetables and, when hot, turn the heat down to low and cook gently, uncovered, until the corn is tender but still crisp and all the flavors have melded nicely, about 10 minutes. Stir in the crumbled bacon, if using. Season with salt and pepper and empty the sautéed corn into a bowl to let cool completely.

2) To assemble the batter: If using leftover sautéed corn with peppers and onions (with or without the bacon), its fine to use it cold from the refrigerator. Measure out 2 cups and set aside. In a 2-quart mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne and paprika. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, if using, chives, black pepper and melted butter. Pour this into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix gently, but thoroughly, using either a batter whisk or a wide blending fork. Use a sturdy rubber spatula to fold in the corn mixture and refrigerate the batter, for 2 and up to 8 hours, giving it time to relax. If very chilled, remove from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours ahead of frying.

3) To set up for frying:
Put a large wire cooling rack on your work surface and line the top with doubled paper towels. Half fill a 4 to 6 quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan with vegetable oil and attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pan so the mercury tip reaches half-way down the depth of the oil. Heat the oil to 375F.

4) To fry the fritters and serve: Using either an oval or round medium-sized ice cream scoop or a large soup spoon, retrieve and lower 4 to 6 equal portions of the batter into the hot oil. Allow them to cook until golden and sufficiently cooked through, turning once or twice (they will immediately float to the top, while frying), 3 to 5 minutes, per each batch. (Since corn can "pop," it's helpful, although not mandatory, to place a spatter-shield over the top of the top of the pot as the fritters fry.) Use a slotted utensil to remove the fritters from the pot, shaking off any excess oil and place them on the prepared paper towels. Allow the temperature of the oil to rise to at least 360F before lowering in the next batch. Serve the fritters soon after frying, accompanied by some warmed maple syrup, if desired.

    Lauren Logo Timing is Everything

  • The leftover sautéed corn can be chilled for 2 days before using in the fritter batter.
  • The batter can be assembled early in the day and, if very chilled, removed from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours ahead of frying.
  • The dry ingredients for the fritters can be whisked together a day or two ahead and kept at room temperature, covered.

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Lauren Groveman recipes have been featured in many national magazines and local newspapers. Her books "The I love to Cook Book: Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking for Family and Friends" and "Lauren Groveman's Kitchen, Nurturing Food for Family and Friends" are available through Amazon.com.

For in depth information on Lauren Groveman as a writer, teacher, TV & radio host, as well as her recipes and cooking tips visit her website at www.laurengroveman.com

Lauren is a Larchmont resident. She is happily married and blessed with three wonderful children.