Fritters are fried batter-and-other-stuff thingies. Like apple fritters, clam fritters, fish fritters. I would go so far as to say that tempura, pakora, and hushpuppies are all types of fritters. And I would bet that every cuisine that fries stuff (which, I think, is all of them) makes some kind of fritter. Because, really, why wouldn’t you?
I had this cousin once. She was my grandma’s first cousin so she was, I guess, actually my first cousin, twice-removed. I mean, she was my grandma’s age. Cousin Patty. She’s dead now. I remember going to visit her in Freeport, Texas a few of times when I was small. Her husband had a golf cart and and he’d let me and little brother drive it around the neighborhood. We were probably about seven and five years old. Once it dumped over and we got in trouble, although surprisingly, it was not as much trouble as I had expected we would be in.
Patty fried everything. She also smoked a lot and drank liquor every day. I thought she was the coolest. She had a big, propane fryer out in the back and she’d cook fried fish and hushpuppies and fritters for dinner every night. I can see her out there on the Spanish-style patio, in the sunset hour, skinny brown legs and white shorts, smoking cigarettes over the fryer, tongs in one hand, highball in the other. She taught me a trick to know when the oil is hot enough: Throw a match in it. When the match blows up, the oil is hot enough. It freaked me out then and it still does now, but I admit it’s a bad ass trick.
Even though they’re not deep-fried, these fritters remind me of Cousin Patty and Freeport and Summer vacation. Oh, man, I wish it was Summer vacation in Freeport right now and I was having a scotch on the rocks with Patty, smoking our brains out and snacking on fritters.
- 15 ounce can corn (or 1½ cups fresh or frozen kernels—requires about 3 fresh cobs)
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour or white flour
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Optional Jazzifiers: ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dill, 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, 1 minced jalapeno
- 3 tablespoons oil (for frying)
- Secret Dipping Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons sour cream (or plain yogurt or mayonnaise)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon dill
- ½ teaspoon honey
- Drain the corn if it is canned; thaw it if it is frozen; cut the kernels from the cobs if it’s fresh.
- Mix with everything else and let it stand 10 minutes for the flour to absorb the liquid and thicken the mixture.
- You will need to cook the fritters in two batches unless you have a giant flat-top griddle like at Waffle House. Heat a skillet over medium heat with about half of the frying oil for a couple of minutes.
- Use a soup spoon or your tablespoon measure to drop the corn mixture into blobs on the griddle and fry about two minutes on each side. They are delicate flowers so treat them with care and don’t flip prematurely. Remove to a plate and tent (cover loosely) with foil to keep warm.
- Add the rest of the oil to the pan and let heat again; fry the rest of the fritters. Serve hot.
- Makes about 12 fritters.
- Serve with sweet chili sauce or secret dipping sauce.
*Here’s another great corn recipe: Corn and Basil Salad
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