Monday, September 14, 2009

For the love of corn!

The weather is beautiful and clear during the day and so cool and crisp, and wonderful for sleeping at night, that it feels like fresh local corn may not be around for much longer. This, combined with the fact that I knew my husband would love this for Sunday brunch, was the motivator for what started out as an idea for the humble fritter.

To be honest, I have been making these fritters for years. We used to do them for breakfast at a restaurant I used to own, and from time to time you might see them on a menu here in Ottawa. But, today, because of the nature of the establishment I work in, they are generally just plain old fritters, with none of the other goodness that I put in this morning.

As I had invited guests over at the last minute, I bought the corn, the to-die-for double smoked bacon, Campari tomatoes, Hewitt's sour cream and the organic baby arugula from my local Farm Boy. No time for a trip to the Ottawa Farmers Market.

The corn, right now, is delicious. Nice and sweet, and the cobs are full of kernels. I only checked a couple by peeling back the top layer of silk and I wasn't disappointed with any of the dozen I purchased. A side note, I hate the way people decide to "peel" their corn in the store. First of all, it makes a huge mess, it takes them forever to peel twelve cobs and don't they understand that the corn will last longer and taste better if they leave that silk and husk on until it's ready to eat. Oh, and I hate when stores have those big bins of corn, and you are forced to rummage through everyone else's mess. Ugh!

And to balance the natural sweetness of the corn, I felt the urge for some of Farm Boy's double smoked bacon. Hello, it is so good! I can normally only eat about 2 slices of regular bacon before feeling all greased up inside, but this double smoked piggy, I could eat half a pound. It has a natural smoky flavour (duh), and it is lovely and salty, and cooks up so crisply - even the fat goes crispy. Yum, yum, YUM! It comes from the deli area, they slice it freshly for you.

The Campari tomatoes, I know, come from the US, but seriously, they were the tastiest looking tomatoes I could find. Plus, I liked the fact that they still had the little stems attached. I just rolled them in some olive oil and salt, pepper and herbs and roasted them at 400F until the went soft.

As well, the baby arugula hailed from the States, but it was delicious. And not a leaf was wilted.

And, everyone loved brunch! Who couldn't? And then, my husband added ketchup.....:(

Sweetcorn Fritters
Makes 8 large-ish fritters

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika (you could sub in cayenne for a spicy bite)
kernels from 2 cobs of corn (use them raw in the batter)
1 red pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients, up to the paprika, in a large bowl, to make a smooth, stiff batter. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Heat oil in non-stick pan and cook fritters slowly over gentle heat. The batter is really thick, so it does take a while for the fritter to cook through. Flip like a pancake, when golden, and finish cooking on the other side.

I only have a little non-stick pan, so I put the fritters on a wire rack over a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 300F while I finish the rest.

I serve mine with sour cream, crisp bacon, roasted tomatoes and a little salad of some kind. But you could drizzle with maple syrup if you prefer.

And now, I think I will go eat another one with a fresh cup of coffee!

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