Sweet corn fritters are a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner
Corn has been around for centuries. When the Pilgrims reached the New England coast in 1620, the flour they brought with them had spoiled. Fortunately, the Indians taught the pilgrims how to grow and grind corn and these skills helped them survive. Many historic corn recipes have survived as well, and each region of the United States seems to have its favorite.
In the South, it’s the hushpuppies. In the North it’s johnnycakes. In the Southwest, it’s the tortillas. Donuts were also popular with cart cooks. The batter was easy to make on the trail and the donuts were fried in a cast iron skillet or kettle.
Corn fritters were once a mainstay of Southern cuisine. Then, for some reason, their popularity waned. But this historic recipe is making a comeback. Today, donuts are a popular side dish and may contain zucchini, green onions, cilantro, and chili peppers. You can even find recipes for Southeast Asian donuts with soy sauce on the Internet.
Some recipes call for meat. In the first “Joy of Cooking” cookbook, the authors Irma s. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker come up with a recipe for corn and ham fritters. The baking powder and the whisked egg whites make the donuts rise. According to the authors, the liquid (water or milk) should be added quickly to the dry ingredients and over-mixing should be avoided.
Betty Crocker’s website posted a recipe for spicy corn fritters made with the original Bisquick mix, water, canned corn, and canned chili peppers. But my favorite recipe is from the “Good Housekeeping Cookbook,” a wedding gift my husband and I received decades ago. He makes puffy and golden donuts that are served with maple syrup. Add crispy bacon, ham or linked sausages, fresh fruit and you’re done.
I modified the recipe a bit. Instead of whole milk, I used skim milk and added sugar for sweetness. Here is the revamped version of the original recipe.
1 cup pre-sifted plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of low sodium salt
2 tablespoons of sugar (or Splenda mixture)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup of skimmed milk
2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 1/2 cups whole kernel corn (drained canned corn or cut corn on the cob)
Frying oil (canola or peanut)
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, milk and salad oil. Add corn. Whisk the dry ingredients into the water, making sure the corn is evenly distributed. Pour the oil into a cast iron or electric pan. Heat the oil until it reaches 365 degrees. Drop tablespoons of batter into the oil (do not overload the pan) and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with hot maple syrup or sugar-free syrup. Makes about 6 servings.
Copyright 2010 by Harriet Hodgson