Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fresh Corn Fritters with Lime Chipotle Chive Yogurt (Gluten-Free)


Every Saturday morning in August my step-father, Fred, and I would look forward to getting corn from Mr. Schneider at the Farmer’s Market near Lunken Municipal Airport.  Mr. Schneider grew the best corn and Fred would only buy corn from him.  Usually we would eat it boiled, on the cob, with butter and salt.  Once in a while Fred would make corn fritters.  Those fritters were a treat, and frequently requested by his fussy foodie friends.  His fritters focused on the fresh flavor of the sweet corn.  I went many years since Fred passed away since I have tried to recreate his corn fritters.  And I never gave much thought to attempting making his fritters gluten-free since my Celiac/DH diagnosis. Until recently I change my approach to developing recipes that highlight the ingredients rather than a gluten-free version of it.

Fast forward to last year.  While working in Spain at Fundacio Alicia my roommate from Venezuela, Vivi, shared some traditional Venezuelan dishes at the house.  Our favorite were arepas, a thick pan-fried corn cake split and made into a sandwich.  Such a treat, it made all of our mouths drool.  Arepas were one of those amazing dishes that I found new and different at first yet somehow familiar and nostalgic.  I love that.  To make the arepas, make a slurry of harina P.A.N., water, and a pinch of salt and cook on a lightly oiled surface on low-medium heat until a thick crust has formed on both sides. "Harina" is Spanish for flour.  P.A.N. is a dream come true for cooking with corn since it is precooked, the texture is always tender and getting a nice crust is a snap.

So when I decided to recreate Fred’s corn fritters, I wanted to emphasize the corn flavor as much as possible.  It only made sense to me to use P.A.N. and cornstarch to punch up the corn flavor.  The cornstarch ensures that the batter does not become too runny.  Then add in other flavors to give complexity to corn such as lime, chipotle, yogurt, and chives.  The lime brightens the corn, especially using both the juice and zest.  Not to mention the nice color the lime zest gives.  Using milk or broth of your choice adds a creaminess or savory flavor per your preference.  A touch of sugar ensures the fritters stay moist and reinforces the sweetness of the corn.  The slight smoky heat from the chipotle, the fresh aromatic quality of the chives, and creaminess from the yogurt pulls it together as one very satisfying treat.  The only way to make this better is to add crumbled bacon on top.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Bacon makes everything better.  This treat is perfect for sharing as a light dish, appetizer, tapas, mezes, etc.  Makes about 8-10 fritters.  Enjoy!

Ingredients: 
Corn Fritters:
  • ½ cup harina P.A.N. (pre-cooked corn meal)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • juice of ½ lime, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk or chicken/vegetable broth, room temperature
  • kernels cut from 2 cleaned ears of corn (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced
  • zest from ½ lime
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable/canola/neutral oil

Lime Chipotle Chive Yogurt:
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • juice of ½ lime
  • zest from ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped finely
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder (more or less to taste)
  • Salt to taste

Garnish (optional):
  • sautéed corn kernels
  • fresh chives, chopped finely
  • crisp bacon, crumbled

Directions: 
Corn Fritters:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the P.A.N. + cornstarch + sugar + salt + pepper until uniform.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the lime juice until light and frothy. Stir in the flour mixture and the milk in 1/3 portions alternating between the two. Stir well before each addition. Stir in the corn kernels, followed by the shallot, and zest. Lastly, add in the melted butter and stir in thoroughly.
  3. Heat a large fry pan or griddle over medium heat. Lightly oil the surface with oil. Too much oil will not give desired results. Pour or scoop out batter and carefully place in pan/griddle. Allow space between each fritter in order to cook well and for ease of flipping. Once the edges become set and slightly golden brown, flip and cook other side. Takes on average 3-5 minutes for each side to cook.
  4. Gently sauté the reserved kernels for garnish for a minute and set aside.

Lime Chipotle Chive Yogurt and Garnish:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt + lime juice + lime zest + chives + chipotle + salt and mix well.
  2. Serve fritters on a platter, topped with a small dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of chives, corn, and bacon.
This is part of Food Network's Summer Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The seasonal produce we're focusing on here is fresh corn! Here are other delicious features on corn:
 
Dishin and Dishes: Kicked Up Creamed Corn From Scratch 
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Fresh Corn Salsa with Basil and Mint 
Zaika Zabardast: Fresh Corn Risotto 
What's Gaby Cooking: Spicy Corn Salsa 
CIA Dropout: Truffle Roasted Corn Kohlrabi Soup 
Cooking Channel: Fresh Corn Muffins 
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Corn on the Cob Korma 
FN Dish: Southwest Corn Recipes 
Daily*Dishin: Sweet Corn and Couscous Main Dish Salad 
Pinch My Salt: Peter Reinhart's Fresh Cut Corn Bread with Bacon 
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Corn & Watermelon Salad 
Virtually Homemade: Summer Corn Salad 
Food2: Creamed Corn Cornbread 
Virtually Vegan Mama: Thai Corn Soup 
Sunshine and Smile: Scallops with Corn and Pepper Sauce 
Spices N Aroma: Corn Pilaf 
Dixie Chick Cooks: Fresh Corn with Basil Slaw and Feta 
Cooking With Books: Corn Favorites 
Purple Cook: Corn on the Cob with Cilantro

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

7 comments:

Nicole said...

These fritters look absolutely delicious!

Vijitha said...

Delicious looking fritters!

Virtually Vegan Mama said...

I almost made fritter for Summer Fest but didn't...yours look fabulous!! I can veganize this easily too. How do you think they would come out baked? what temp do you think? thanks!

Jen
http://virtuallyveganmama.com/2011/08/summer-fest-thai-corn-soup.html

kankana said...

Delicious looking fritter and that yogurt sauce with lime and chive .. awsm!

Heather said...

What kind of harina PAN did you use? I found three kinds in my store and all said they may contain wheat, so I got nervous. But these look SO good!

Erin Swing said...

I used the P.A.N. brand, found here: http://www.latinmerchant.com/productdetail.asp?ProductID=F0012

I have never had any reaction to it and I am extremely gluten sensitive. On the back label it says, "Very low gluten."

Erin Swing said...

Thanks everyone! There were some tasty looking creations for the fresh corn Food Network Summer Fest.
Jen: what do you sub out the eggs with?