Recipe: Corn-chile fritters with Southwest flavor
|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.
Fresh corn season winds down but isn't gone yet.
Makes about 10 fritters
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
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.
Salsa is a great accompaniment to the fritters.
Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.
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For week of March 3:
* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.
* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.
* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.
* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.
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* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.
* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.
* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.
* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.
* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.
* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.
* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.
* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.
* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.
* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.
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