7.29.14 Roasted Corn Fritters with Avocado Cilantro Sauce
This week, I’m happy to report that I faced one of my cooking fears. That’s right, my fear of fritters. It’s silly I know, but every time I think about making fritters, I picture a big, gooey, soggy mess. I think it’s because I’ve heard too many sad stories of fritters gone wrong. Soggy steamed dough blobs, rather than lovely crispy golden brown delights. But with so many fantastic fritter-worthy summer veggies at hand, I decided I had to give it a go. It was time to face down those fritters and get frying.
Of course, it helped that I had some wonderful fresh sweet corn to work with. Low in excess moisture (the bane of a light, crispy fritter) and high in lovely, summery flavor, I figured it was the perfect thing for my first batch. And, I have to say, not only were they tasty, crispy, and golden brown, but they weren’t even hard to make. Silly, me, what was I so worried about? Of course, things are surely a bit more tricky when you move up to making more complicated fritters with high moisture veggies like summer squash or eggplant. Too much moisture in your veggies, and you risk steaming your fritters into a globby mess (as I always feared), instead of crisping them up properly. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough.
Today, though, I’m not going to fret over any future fritter adventures. I’m happy enough to just enjoy these lovely roasted corn fritters. They’re pretty fantastic. And of course a creamy green-hued avocado and cilantro sauce for dipping just sweetens the deal. Let’s face it, pretty much everything’s better when there’s avocado involved, right? So there you have it. Fear conquered, and some delicious fritters to boot. Not too shabby.
Roasted Corn Fritters with Avocado Cilantro Sauce
makes about 10 fritters and 1 cup sauce
avocado cilantro sauce:
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- ½ avocado
- ½ c scallion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 serrano chile (seeded if less heat desired)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup water
- 4 ears corn
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp chipotle chile powder
- 3 oz (6 Tbsp) light beer
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- salt, lime wedges, and hot sauce for serving
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until a smooth consistency is reached. Set aside while you make the fritters.
2. Turn the broiler in your oven on high. Shuck the corn and put the ears on a foil-lined sheet pan. Put the sheet pan on the top rack of your oven, and let the corn cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the kernels on the top side of the corn start to turn golden brown (check often to prevent burning!). Turn the ears of corn ½ turn to brown the other side, and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until the kernels on this side turn golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool while you make the fritter batter.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and chipotle powder in a large bowl, stirring to mix well.
4. Whisk together the beer, lime juice, and egg, then add to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
5. Cut the kernels off of the corn cobs, and add to the batter, along with the chopped cilantro.
6. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large, high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot, drop a couple of heaping spoonfuls of fritter batter into the pan (I was able to cook about 4 fritters at a time). Cook fritters until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Continue to cook fritters in batches of 3-4 until all of the batter is gone.
7. Sprinkle fritters with a little salt, then serve immediately with lime wedges, hot sauce, and plenty of avocado cilantro sauce for dipping. A cold beer on the side is highly recommended.