I always forget how much I love corn fritters, well, until I take that first bite!
I usually wait for September corn to make the fritters, simply because most of summer I’m content with eating it straight from the cob or making my ritual vat of chowder. September corn is plump and sweet, and it is everywhere in abundance, bushel barrels full, at least most years. Nothing tastes better than this truly native treat.
I always buy a dozen ears even if I eat only one, and my husband eats only two. The rest gets cut off the cob and put in the freezer for use in cooking throughout the winter, and use it up we do.
Roasted, Grilled, Boiled, Steamed, or even Sautéed
I prefer this recipe using roasted or grilled corn (on the cob of course) but it is almost as good if you steam or boil it. Whatever is easiest for you at the time. And you need not use leftover cooked corn, just lightly sauté corn cut from the cob along with the onion.
Gently whip the egg whites and fold in at the end. This step takes only a few minutes, but lends a lightness to the fritters I love. Most fritters are cooked in deep fat, but I prefer mine cooked in a thin layer of oil in my trusty cast iron frying pan. And yes, you can easily make this gluten free by substituting your favorite flour, and I’ve also made them with corn meal. This looks like a lot of ingredients, but it takes only a few minutes and one bowl to put together.
2 cups cooked corn
2/3 cup purple onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup flour, any variety
1 tbsp. fresh chives, finely minced
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Large pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
A few dashes of hot sauce
¼ tsp. vanilla
2 to four tbsp. corn oil for frying
Remove corn from ears and place in a large bowl. You should have about two cups. Sauté onion in butter just until soft, let cool, and add to the corn. To this, add egg yolks, flour, chives, sugar, baking powder, and spices. Mix everything together.
Whip the egg whites just to gentle floppy peaks. Fold into the batter.
Heat a large cast iron frying pan. Once hot, add oil. Drop by heaping tablespoon into heated oil, pressing the top lightly to form a small pancake. This makes about 16 fritters. To make more substantial fritters (only eight), drop by ice-cream scoop.
Brown on one side for a few minutes, until a peak under reveals browning and the edges of the top are starting to set.
Using a very thin spatula, carefully turn once only and brown the other side. The second side will only take a minute or so. Drain on a wire rack so they stay nice and crispy.
Serve hot as a side dish, or they can easily stand alone as a nice summer supper with a salad. Some people like them with melted cheese on top, others with a bit of maple syrup, honey, or even applesauce.
I like them with a tangy horseradish sauce!
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