Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Corn Fritters with Sharp Cheddar, Scallions and Herbs

Corn Fritters

The song "Dammit" just came on. You know the one--that Blink182 song that goes

"Well, I guess this is growing up" 

It came on, and I haven't heard that song in years. It's like high school entered into my kitchen and literally came back to me.

Anyway If you haven't heard of it, don't go googling it or anything- lest you think worse of me. It's a bad, bad, catchy little song; kind of like My Chemical Romances "Teenagers", except that song reminds me of being newly married  and riding around in my blue Audi. I was older in that instance and have no good excuse like being in high school for listening to it. Dang. Now I've given myself away.

Listen, I'm not about pretending to be somebody I'm not. If I'm going to give it to you straight, I'll tell you I grew up listening to Blink 182, Eminem, Offspring, and Green Day. My husband was known to love Metallica, NIN, and Rage Against the Machine (in fact I made him stop telling the story about how he wound up at a U2 concert quite accidentally one time because he went to see Rage who was the opening act..because that's plain embarrassing) and we turned out okay. In fact, we turned out to be a couple who listens to Frank Sinatra at night and reads our bibles during the day. So next time your teenager holes up listening to Lady Gaga or something, you need not fear. Chances are they'll grow up to be distinguished, decent people who rock out to Jay-Z occasionally, like we do.

Wow. This post is not going the way I intended it. Needless to say, I did NOT want "high school" in my kitchen, so I changed "dammit" promptly. But then I wrote about how catchy MCR's "Teenagers" was and have since listened it five times on repeat. And that about brings us up to speed.

Corn Fritters

Ah, corn fritters, how the heck am I going to fit you into this mess now?

That's as good a way as any, I suppose.

These things are out of this world. Gwyneth Paltrow does it again. The recipe is mostly fresh corn, bound together by just a whisper of sharp cheddar cheese, and accented with scallions, basil and cilantro. A little balsamic vinegar drizzle and a bed of arugula and dinner or lunch is served. The only problem I had with this recipe was my corn to batter ratio was off. I needed to add another egg and a splash of milk in order to make  enough batter and hence, a proper fritter. The problem, I believe, is that the recipe calls for 4 ears of corn instead of an exact measurement. I used frozen corn and eyeballed what I thought about 4 ears would yield. Use your judgement and add another egg and/or milk if needed to make a batter. You won't ruin anything. If worse comes to worse, just test one out. Griddle up your first fritter and if you have problems flipping it because it won't stick together, add wetness. A fritter is a chunky pancake. That's what your looking for.

I loved this on the bed of arugula because it made this a meal. Who makes fritters for snacks anyway? The balsamic and herbs on top makes it, so be sure to not leave them out. If you are looking for a fresh, tasty, meatless summer dinner this is definitely my pick. If you are serving this for company, may I suggest you start out with a bowl of watermelon gazpacho to start? And, I'm just sayin' these here fritters would be excellent with a bright, crisp white wine.

Corn Fritters with Sharp Cheddar, Scallions and Herbs
serves 4

4 fresh ears of corn, shucked (I figured between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of corn for each ear)
1 organic large egg, beaten
1/4 cup packed grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup packed grated Parmesan cheese
2 scallions (white and light green parts), finely sliced
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for finishing
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
10 fresh large basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 box Arugula
good Balsamic Vinegar

Cut the kernels off the cobs and discard cobs. Combine the corn, egg cheeses scallions, flour, cornstarch, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt together in a large mixing bowl. (Check for batter like consistency- If needed add another egg and/or a splash of milk) Heat the vegetable oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour the fritter batter onto the skillet using a 1/4 cup measure and fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until dark golden brown and very attractive. Drain the fritters on paper towels, sprinkle with more salt, and keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining batter. Roughly chop the basil and cilantro leaves.

To serve, mound some arugula among 4 plates and drizzle balsamic over top (maybe a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper if it's around). Place fritters on top of lettuce and scatter the fresh herbs over top. 

And now, I have to tell you that Rage Against The Machine's "Wake-Up" is on. What are the chances? I only know it because it plays at the end of "The Matrix." I always think "Wake-Up" is "Bombtrack" because that's a way cooler name. So when people ask if I listen to Rage (which of course happens all the time or just once) I reply with "No, but I like Bombtrack"which is not at all the truth.