I’ve successfully not turned on my oven for two weeks. It might not be so much of a success as a challenge, since it’s quite difficult for me to restrain myself from homemade baked goods for too long. It’s almost to the point where I want to see how long I can hold out; it’s some sort of mental game that I’m playing, and everyone else thinks it’s weird. I’m really only surviving this test because of hot fudge sauce, but that’s not important for this story.
The self-imposed anti-oven challenge has reaped a reward other than a cool kitchen*: an awesome corn fritter recipe.
These corn fritters are actually a bit more like pancakes, but “corn pancake” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as fritter. Most of the corn kernels are processed, but I’ve left a few out to make the texture more interesting and fritter-like.
The fritters are really, really good, and it takes about five minutes to make the batter. I can’t think of the right words to describe their texture, but they’re almost chewy with a nice crunch from the few corn kernels throughout, and they’re lightly sweet with a nice little jalapeno kick . This recipe only makes enough fritters for two servings, and since they lasted about five minutes in my house, I recommend doubling the amounts. They’re best fresh out of the skillet.
*I realize that my obsession with not turning on the oven/heating up the kitchen is a little odd, but it’s a sentiment that’s been ingrained in my brain. My grandma’s house isn’t air-conditioned, so she tends to avoid baking or only uses the oven early in the morning during the summer. My apartment is air-conditioned, but it’s not central air, just this space heater/air contraption toward the ceiling of a couple of rooms, and there isn’t one in the kitchen. There’s also a huge window in my kitchen that gets a ton of sun, so with the oven, sunshine and only the faintest wisps of cool air-conditioning, the kitchen really heats up.
Corn fritters with jalapeno
adapted from Bon Appetit
makes about 12 3-inch fritters
Note: This amount of fritters makes enough for two servings– no leftovers. This can be easily doubled.
I learned at the farmer’s market this weekend that the amount of little cracks in jalapenos tells you how spicy they are. There more cracks, the spicier the pepper. Like this.
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 ears of corn (about two cups), kernels cut off the cob
1 small (1 ½ inch) jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced (if you have a large pepper, just use half)
1 scallion, roughly sliced
1. In the bowl of a food processor or mini food processor, add flour, cornmeal, Parmesan, eggs and salt. Pulse about 3 times, until ingredients are well combined.
2. Add 2 ½ cups of corn kernels, reserving ½ cup, as well as the jalapeno and scallion to the flour mixture in the food processor. Pulse about 5 times, until ingredients are blended.
3. Transfer the batter to a small bowl and add reserved 1/2 cup corn kernels, mixing them into the batter.
4. In a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add about 2 tablespoons (or 2 glugs) of oil. Watch the oil. After two minutes, drop in a few drops of water. If the oil spits and hisses, it’s ready.
5. Using ¼ cup measure, scoop batter until it about halfway fills the measuring cup. Cook the fritters in batches until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Enjoy!