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Chilies give these fresh corn fritters some kick

Recipe: Corn-chile fritters with Southwest flavor

Corn fritters and salsa on a blue plate
These fritters are full of whole corn yet light and fluffy. Serve with salsa. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

October is the end of fresh corn season. Big ears are packed with full-flavored kernels.

These savory fritters make the most of sweet, chewy corn cut off the cob. (It takes about two ears to produce 2 cups of kernels.) The batter is similar to a cornmeal hush puppy with 2 teaspoons of baking powder; the fritters expand rapidly in the pan.

Giving these fritters Southwest flavor are four C’s: Corn, chiles, cheddar and chives. That combination is a great addition to cornbread, too.

Good for brunch, lunch or dinner, these fritters are served warm with salsa and sour cream, if desired. Surprisingly light and fluffy, they’re tasty plain, too.

Measuring cup of corn kernels and a chile pepper
The end of fresh corn season is the perfect time
to make corn-chile fritters.
Corn-chile fritters

Makes about 10 fritters

Ingredients:

¾ cup cornmeal

½ cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

¾ cup milk

1 large egg

2 cups corn kernels

¼ cup chile pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Shortening or vegetable oil as needed

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Beat together milk and egg; add to dry ingredients. Mix together to make a thick, but smooth batter. Add a tablespoon or two of milk if necessary. Stir in corn kernels, chile pepper, chives and cheese.

In a large, deep and heavy skillet or saucepan, melt shortening or heat oil over medium high heat. Use enough shortening or oil to reach 2 inches deep. Make sure skillet or pan sides are high enough that hot oil doesn’t splatter out of pan. Bring melted shortening or oil up to 325-350 degrees F.

Fry fritters in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Drop fritter batter into hot oil by large spoonfuls spaced apart; fritters will expand while frying. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes total, turning once.

Remove from oil with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Eat immediately or keep warm in a 250-degree F. oven.

Corn fritters and salsa
Salsa is a great accompaniment to the fritters, but sour cream
is another option. The fritters also are delicious on their own.
Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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