CORN, SWEETCORN FRITTERS
A Cook's Guide to Grains by Jenni Muir
Sweetcorn fritters may seem complicated but in fact are very similar to pancakes. You don't even need to use a deep-fryer. They're also good fun for kids, who tend to enjoy picking out the little bits of corn embedded in the batter. Standard advice for cutting corn from the cob is to hold the cob vertically on a chopping board and cut down the sides with a large cook's knife. I find it less unwieldly to lie the corn on the board horizontally and use a small knife. The right way is the one that makes you feel most comfortable and safe.
• 1 ear sweetcorn
• 75g / 1/2 cup plain wheat-type flour
• 2 tsp granulated sugar
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika
• a large pinch of salt
• 7 egg
• 4 tbsp milk
• 50g / 2oz cheddar cheese, finely diced
• 4 tbsp finely sliced spring onions
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley
• 2 tsp finely chopped fresh chilli
• a little olive or vegetable oil, for frying
• freshly ground pepper
Using a large kitchen knife, cut the corn kernels from the ears of corn. Scrape the ears with the back of the knife to squeeze out as much of the kernels and 'milk' as possible. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cayenne and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. In a small jug, whisk together the egg and milk and pour into the dry ingredients, stirring to make a very thick batter. Mix in the sweetcorn, cheese, spring onions, coriander or parsley, chilli and some freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a little oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Working on two or three fritters at a time, add large spoonfuls of the mixture to the pan and fry until the top is set and the bottom is golden. Flip over to brown on the other side, then remove from the pan and set aside in a warm place while you cook the remaining mixture. Serve hot, warm or cold.
• The added ingredients to the basic batter can be swapped with extreme ease. You only need to ensure you add around 4 tbsp of whatever chopped ingredients you desire. Parsnip and chorizo is an astonishingly good combo. Ham works well, so does chopped red bell pepper. You could also use finely chopped broccoli stems, or include cooked wild rice as one of the flavourings, but not in place of the sweetcorn.
• Serve as part of a brunch dish with spinach salad, grilled bacon, and raw or roasted tomatoes. Alternatively you could serve with a ready-made dipping sauce, relish or chutney chosen to suit the ingredients you have added to the batter.
• The mixture can be cooked into tiny pancakes to serve as canapes with smoked hams and fish, or guacamole and salsa.