A quick and easy way to use up extra corn, corn fritters make a comforting bread addition to a regular meal or can be served as a sweet or savory appetizer. Unlike Johnny cakes that are more like fried cornbread cakes, corn fritters are made with whole corn kernels and flour instead of deriving their corn flavor from corn meal. Corn fritters are traditionally pan fried or deep fried in hot oil.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and eggs in a mixing bowl to make a simple batter. The final consistency should be roughly the same as pancake batter. Mix at a ratio of roughly 1 egg, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every 1 cup of flour. Skip the baking powder and salt if you use self-rising flour.
Cut fresh corn off the cob. Canned or frozen corn can be used in place of fresh corn. Drain canned corn before adding it to the batter. Thaw frozen corn and drain off any liquid before adding. The amount of corn you use depends on preference, ranging from 1 cup of corn per cup of flour in the batter for a more subtle corn taste and texture, up to 4 cups of corn to dominate the fritters. Add the corn to the batter and stir until well combined.
Stir in optional ingredients to enhance the flavors of the corn fritters. Ingredients you might add include chopped sweet or hot peppers, diced onion, fire-roasted tomatoes, or crab or lobster meat. Stir in some honey, mashed bananas and cinnamon for a sweet spin on this traditionally savory food.
Heat oil in a skillet or deep fryer over medium heat. Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are commonly used for frying.
Drop spoonfuls of the corn fritter batter into the hot oil. Cook on the first side for 1 to 2 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Turn over the corn fritters and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until evenly brown. There is no need to flip corn fritters if you cook them in a deep fryer.
Transfer the first batch of corn fritters to a baking sheet and place them in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to keep them warm while you cook the remaining batches of corn fritters. Serve them plain or with toppings such as sour cream, salsa or hot pepper jelly.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.