Do you have fear of frying? I overcame mine a few years ago with some -- as it turned out, unnecessary -- reassurance from a nearby fire extinguisher. And a whole new world opened. Frying is easy, quick and adds so much flavor and texture to ordinary ingredients. And by ordinary, I mean things you probably already have in your pantry or refrigerator like eggs and flour. It's a good way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into one's diet! I recently discovered two ears of corn lurking in my fridge from an overly ambitious farmer's market trip at the same time I found a vintage recipe for corn fritters. Kismet!
This recipe is from Grace Johnson, a Park Slope, Brooklyn, resident, whose wonderful 1940s handwritten book of recipes I purchased from a stoop sale a few years ago. You can read her story here.
These are light, fluffy and savory fritters. Really, really good. (And you can whip them up in a jiffy when a friend unexpectedly rings your doorbell on Sunday night -- see end of post.)
Begin by organizing your ingredients. Beat the egg, mix in the milk and other ingredients.
It will seem like there's not enough liquid, but there will be. Add the corn in last.
Drop the batter by teaspoon...
...into the hot oil. Fry until golden on one side.
Then flip the fritters over using a slotted spoon, or even a fork.
I've included the original recipe, and then thoughtfully wrote it out (you're welcome).
1 cup milk (divided)
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups whole kernel corn (about two ears)
1 tablespoon liquid shortening (melted butter)
Oil for frying (depending on the size of your frying pan*)
In a bowl, beat the egg.
Stir in ½ cup milk.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add to egg-milk mixture.
Add remaining ½ cup milk.
Add the melted butter and corn.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. When very hot (you can take its temperature or just drop a bit of batter in to test).
Drop the batter by tablespoons into the hot oil.
When golden brown on one side, flip over to continue cooking. (Use a fork or slotted spoon).
Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
*Grace recommends starting with three tablespoons of oil, and replacing when necessary. I think it’s better to do this once – add oil so it rises an inch or more from the bottom of the pan. This way, you need not keep waiting for the new oil to reach temperature. You can always strain the used oil through a cheesecloth to reuse.
Our friend Alec, below, with a plate of corn fritters. He bicycled over on his hand-built bamboo bike just in time for dinner! Hmmmm.....
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