Lets face it, sweet corn doesn’t win any awards for being exotic – it’s not fancy and it’s not gourmet. But that’s part of it’s beauty – it’s a simple vegetable. In Australia, spring is the season for sweetcorn, and at $1 a cob it makes for budget cooking. And what better dish to make with your cheaply purchased corn? Corn fritters of course.
Everyone loves corn fritters – even my kids will eat them. Though, when serving my kids corn fritters, I have to call them “pancakes with corn”, but hey, if it means they eat something with vegetables and don’t complain about it while they’re doing it, I’ll call them anything they want me to.
Why make them?
Because they’re fast and easy.
The cooked corn kernels burst in your mouth like pockets of sweetness.
They taste so good when eaten hot from the pan.
They are light and fluffy and good for a snack.
Back when I could still claim to be a chef (it’s been four years since I’ve worked in a professional kitchen), every cafe had corn fritters on the menu. You could get corn fritters with crispy bacon, corn fritters with spicy chilli jam, corn fritters with smoked salmon and poached eggs… Argh… too many corn fritters. Now days, those repetitive weekends stuck behind hot stoves are just a distant memory. Corn fritters have found their way back into my repertoire. I can even smile while I make them, and eat them.
I’ve learnt a thing or two about corn fritters –
1. Use fresh corn, cut straight from the cob.
2. Whisk the egg whites separately, so the batter is light and fluffy.
3. Use a high ratio of corn to flour, so you actually taste the corn.
4. Cook fritters in olive oil and butter so they get a crispy edge and cook with a golden colour.
Sweetcorn and zucchini fritters – makes about 12 fritters
2 cobs of sweet corn
1 zucchini, coarsely grated
6 green spring onions (scallions), sliced thinly
1/2 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 eggs, separated
50g melted butter, plus extra for frying
1/4 cup milk
Olive oil, for frying
Remove the kernels from the cobs of corn, place in a large bowl. Add grated zucchini and sliced green spring onions. Add flour, sugar, salt and white pepper.
Place egg yolks and milk in melted butter and whisk to combine. Pour this mixture on to the corn and stir till combined.
In a separate clean bowl, whisk egg whites till soft peaks form. Add to corn and flour mixture and fold gently till well combined.
Heat a large non-stick fry pan with 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter. Cook the fritters in batches of four or five. Spoon fritter mix into pan and cook on a low heat till golden on both sides. You can keep the fritters warm in a low oven whilst cooking remaining fritters.
Fritters are best eaten whilst still hot. Don’t know what to serve them with? – try avocado mash and salad.