Sweetcorn, five-spice & date fritters with tomato & avocado

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Preparation info

  • For

    4-6

    (8-12 fritters)
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

Growing up in New Zealand it seemed that there were a few classic dishes in our nation’s repertoire - but that everyone had their own twist on them. Pumpkin soup was one, and corn fritters another. I recall versions of the former seeming racy if they had curry powder in them, or if they were made with cream and topped with grated cheese - that seemed very posh. However, the latter, the corn fritters, were pretty much all made from the same few ingredients: a can of sweetcorn, flour, egg and a little milk. Packed full of corn, they were absolutely delicious when grilled, thick-sliced bacon was laid across the top. Back in 1970, my father, Bruce, was most impressed with his garden (our family always grew lots of vegetables) and told my (soon to be) stepmum, Rose, how proud he was of his corn and pumpkin patch. Rose replied that back in London they fed corn to chickens and pumpkins to pigs - people didn’t eat them! That made me realise that the use, or not, of particular ingredients in a nation’s diet is often based on nonsense and lack of experience.

Ingredients

  • 100 g flour
  • 50 g wholemeal flour
  • 50 g polenta
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp five-spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 330 ml buttermilk (or use a runny unflavoured yoghurt)
  • 50 ml extra virgin avocado oil, plus more for cooking the fritters (or use a light olive oil for cooking)
  • 1 corn cob (or 150 g canned corn kernels, drained)
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into 8
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice
  • a handful of rocket or salad greens

Method

Sieve the flours, polenta, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and five-spice with ½ teaspoon fine salt. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and 30 ml of the avocado oil in a bowl, then tip the dry mixture in and stir it briskly to form a thick batter.

Peel the husk from the corn cob and lay it flat on a chopping board. Using a serrated knife, cut the kernels from it and add these to the fritter mix along with the chopped dates. Mix it all together and leave for 15 minutes.

Halve the avocado, remove the stone and scoop the flesh from the skin using a large spoon. Cut into chunks and mix with the tomato, the remaining 20 ml avocado oil and the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper and put to one side.

Heat up a wide frying-pan and drizzle a few teaspoons of avocado oil into it then give the fritter mix a stir and dollop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and cook over a moderate heat until coloured. Carefully flip over and cook on the other side, until they’re cooked in the centre - it’ll take around 3-5 minutes all up, depending how large you make them. Once cooked, take from the pan and stack on a platter. Once they’re all cooked (they can be eaten hot or at room temperature) divide amongst your plates.

To Serve

Toss the avocado salad with the salad leaves and place on top of the fritters.