Corn Fritters

Sometimes called “corn oysters” in Southern coastal states, since they can resemble fried oysters, corn fritters have been a staple all over the South for at least two hundred years. I once watched some folks in Mississippi make an entire lunch of nothing but corn fritters and spinach salad. Even more telling, I’ve served the fritters with eggs and bacon for breakfast more than once when confronted with sacks of Silver Queen corn fresh from the field that I knew would lose its sweetness if kept too long. What you don’t want are soggy fritters, so unless you plan to serve them immediately, one solution is to keep them hot and crisp on a wire rack in the oven once they’ve been drained briefly on paper towels. I also like to serve these fritters with roast pork and chunky apple sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • ½ small green bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Method

Place the corn in a large pot with enough water to cover, bring to a boil, cook 2 minutes, and drain. When cool enough to handle, cut the corn kernels off onto a plate, scraping the cobs with the back of the knife to extract as much of the corn milk as possible. Place the kernels and corn milk in a mixing bowl, add the bell pepper, eggs, flour, salt and pepper, and half-and-half, and stir till the mixture is well blended and thick.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over moderately high heat, spoon about 4 mounds of the batter into the fat, and cook till golden on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn with a slotted spoon, cook 3 to 4 minutes or till golden on the other side, and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter, keeping the fritters hot on a large plate or wire rack in the oven till ready to serve.