Hurry! Corn season is fast winding down. This dish will serve as breakfast, brunch, or a quick summer supper, and there’s simple vegan and gluten-free options as well.
We are approaching the Equinox, and with it the final days of our corn season. This is the time to squeeze in as many fresh corn dishes as possible from simple roasted corn to succotash, cornbread, or these tasty corn fritters.
First, the exquisite corn!
I prefer this recipe using roasted or grilled fresh corn left from another meal, 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 if you don’t have some stashed from another meal.
My own take on my mom’s fritters is to separate the eggs, gently whip the egg whites, and fold them into the rest of the ingredients. 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 (grandmother’s) trusty cast-iron frying pan, the way my mom did it. And yes, you can easily make this gluten free by substituting your favorite flour, and I’ve also made them with corn meal. This only takes a few minutes and one bowl to put together.
While I usually make my fritters smaller, a heaping tablespoon of batter per fritter, for this dish I used an ice-cream scoop to make them larger. You have to be a little more careful when turning, but they worked great under the tomato and egg.
Corn and Pepper Fritters with Poached Eggs and Salsa
- 2 1/2-3 cups cooked fresh corn
- 2/3 cup sweet onion, finely minced
- 1/2 sweet red sweet pepper, or a whole hot one if you like
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, separated (or 1/4 cup aquafaba*)
- 1/3 cup flour, or gluten-free flour
- 1 tbsp. fresh chives, finely minced
- 2 tbsp. sugar if the corn is not sweet enough
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Large pinch of kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- F few grates of freshly ground nutmeg
- A few dashes of hot sauce, optional
- 2 to four tbsp. organic corn oil for frying
Remove corn from ears and place in a large bowl. You should have around two and a half to three cups. Sauté onion and pepper 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 or aquafaba just to gentle floppy peaks. Fold into the batter.
Heat a large cast iron frying pan to medium high. Once hot, add oil. Drop by ice cream scoop into heated oil, and even the top lightly to form a small pancake. This makes about 10 large or 18 small fritters.
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.
Place on a plate and add a luscious local heirloom tomato slice, followed by a poached or over-easy egg. Top with salsa of choice.
Omit the eggs, and whip 1/4 cup aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chick peas) to soft peaks, to fold in at the end just like the egg whites. When plating, simply top with tomato and salsa.
These 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. Make them small, and serve as a party appetizer drizzled with horseradish sauce and sprinkled with more chives.
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