|CSA Diary: Corn & Jalapeño Fritters|
|Right Food for the Season - Late Summer|
|Written by R. Patrick Kent|
About 30 years ago my parents bought a house on Cape Cod. We spent the summers there throughout my childhood. The days were filled with sun, sand, and saltwater. I have so many vivid memories of those times -- hunting hermit crabs in the marsh, playing tether ball in the backyard. To this day, I love trips to the Cape. There are so many sites, smells and tastes that are all parts of the quintessential summertime experience. I carry many food memories from those July and August days of my childhood. Fried clams, heirloom tomato salad and Dave's donuts, to name just a few, and most important and vivid, fresh corn from the farmstand. The kind of corn that makes you wonder why you eat anything else in the summer. The kind of corn that dares you to add butter and salt.
In the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day, it can be hard to get back to that place in my mind. It's not impossible, however. There is still some of this farm fresh corn available, and it can transport me right back to the sweetest moments of childhood, albeit in a refined, adult kind of way.
When I do find an afternoon to sit on the porch, read a book, and have a glass of wine, nothing completes this picture better than a few crispy snacks. These corn and jalapeño fritters fit the bill. Fritters are quite easy to make as long as you don't mind deep frying a bit. (I can't say I eat a lot of fried food but that's what makes it so delicious when you indulge.) The basic fritter batter is very simple - I think of it as 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of liquid and 1 egg per serving of vegetables / protein to be added. The recipe below should make 8 - 10 fritters and the recipe can be scaled easily for more than that. For these fritters, I steamed the corn for 5 minutes in an inch of water and reserved some of the liquid to add to the batter.
Corn and Jalapeño Fritters
2 ears of corn
Fill a large pot with an 1/2 inch of water, place over high heat, add the ears of corn and cover for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Run ears of corn under cold water to cool them down and then cut the kernels off into a bowl. Mix flour, chili pepper, 2 tsp of salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Make a well in the middle. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup of corn water into the middle. Begin mixing and add corn kernels and diced jalapenos.Mix together and set aside.Fill a medium size pot about half way with vegetable oil. Using a candy / frying thermometer, heat the oil to 350 - 380 degrees. You will have to adjust the heat up and down to maintain the heat at about 360 - 370. To keep the fritters crispy, the oil needs to stay above 350 but to avoid a grease fire it needs to be below 400.Use a soup spoon to drop 2 - 3 tablespoons of batter into the oil for each fritter. Cook in small batches so as not to cool the oil off too quickly. The batter will sink to the bottom and then float back up as it cooks. I use chopsticks to handle food when cooking but a good pair of tongs would work as well. Cook each batch for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes on some papertowel to drain off the grease. Sprinkle with sea salt, pour yourself a drink and enjoy...