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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


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.

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


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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