Well didn’t we get lucky? Our Meatless Monday blog just happens to fall on National Corn Fritter Day! I am sitting here drooling thinking of all the Meatless Monday dishes that could benefit from a delicious Jalapeño Corn Fritter – vegetarian chili, a big hearty salad, vegetable stew! I’m super excited about these! Sarah W. was brave enough to fry in her own kitchen, but I think I would break out the electric skillet and do these outside (I have a very real fear of indoor frying. We’ll save that story for another time.). These look easy enough that even I could make them, and Sarah has a bunch of suggestions for customizing them to your personal taste, whether you’re making them for Meatless Monday or just because. Sarah, teach us the way of the Corn Fritter!
Happy Corn Fritter Day! When Candice told me this was a thing that really exists, I knew I had to find a great recipe. I have no personal attachment to corn fritters, but as a Midwest resident, I know and love me some sweet corn. Today’s recipe is simple and doesn’t require any crazy impossible-to-find ingredients.
Meatless Monday meals can be as simple or as gourmet as you like, and these Jalapeño Corn Fritters fit in nicely no matter where you fall on that spectrum.
Summer for me is about simple food that’s easy to prepare (and preferably has a little kick). I added some finely chopped jalapeño to give my corn fritters an additional dimension of flavor. Typically, Midwest summers are hot, sticky, humid, and best spent lounging by the pool, but this year we’ve been given something of a reprieve. It’s very odd to wake up to a crisp mid-July day, but hey – I’ll take it! The fact that the weather eased up made it easier to think about tackling a dish that requires a hot stove.
We all know I love shortcuts. This recipe is fairly straightforward, so there’s not a lot of room for improvement, but I will say a few things. Adding jalapeño was a fantastic idea. If you’re not making these on a Meatless Monday, toss some bacon in there, too. Summer is growing season, and hot peppers are one of the things that have historically grown best for me (they don’t need very much attention).
If you have a hot pepper other than jalapeño, use it! If you have frozen corn instead of fresh corn, use it! If you are using fresh corn and have access to a grill, try grilling your corn before slicing it off the cob. This recipe calls for paprika, but to be honest, I am not very good at being able to taste paprika in things. If you want to spice this up with additional favorite seasonings, do it! Rosemary (my perennial favorite) would be great, as would fresh cilantro, lemon pepper, a little red onion, maybe even garlic (be careful with fresh garlic – it burns easily). My point (as always) is: this recipe says to make this dish a certain way. Fortune favors the bold, so modify, modify, modify, and don’t be afraid to add flavors you like! Also, use a mixer to beat the egg white – don’t try to be a hero like me and whisk it by hand for five straight minutes until your arm cramps up before conceding defeat and digging out the hand mixer. It’s a much better choice, I assure you.
1/3 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 egg, separated
¾ cup corn (I used one cob)
Remove corn from cob, if using fresh. Chop your jalapeño pretty finely.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and paprika.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolk, then add your corn and jalapeño bits.
Add your dry ingredients to your egg yolk, corn, and jalapeño. This is going to coat it and make what appears to be corn gravel. Go with it.
Beat the egg white until soft white peaks form. The photo above should give a decent reference of “soft peaks”- if your egg doesn’t hold a little bit of shape when you pull your beaters out, you’re not there yet.
Once you’ve beaten your egg into submission, fold into your corn gravel. You should have a super sticky mixture, but the egg white should be enough wetness to incorporate all your flour. If your dough is too dry, add a tiny, tiny, TINY bit of milk. I didn’t need to do this, but thought I would until I mixed and scraped the bowl for a few minutes.
Heat oil in a skillet. Drop dough into pan by rounded teaspoons, flattening slightly once they’ve hit the oil.
Fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping once.
Pretty easy, right? I have an innate fear of frying things in oil on the stovetop, and these went pretty well. Make sure your oil is heated so your fritters sizzle once they hit the pan. Use a kernel of corn from your dough mixture to test before dropping a whole batch in. Using rounded teaspoons, I came out with 9 palm-sized fritters, so adjust the size or double the recipe as needed. I’d recommend frying 3-4 at once, depending on the size of your pan, and using the back of your spoon to flatten these when you drop them in so they cook evenly. Be warned that corn + hot oil can mean popping or spitting. Corn naturally has some water content, so be cautious.
These are a great treat, crispy on the outside, with the sweet notes of the corn and the spiciness of the hot pepper on the inside. Great with a cold beer on the patio on an unseasonably cool summer evening.
What’s your favorite Meatless Monday recipe?
Have you ever grilled corn before? (It’s delicious)
Are you as deathly terrified of frying things as I am?