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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.  (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
Fresh corn season winds down but isn't gone yet.

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.

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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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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