Lots of activity in my neck of the woods! International Yarnbombing Day was June 11 – my local favorite Streetcolor decorated a BART train. Here in Oakland it’s hard to miss that Mehserle was released, the BART officer who killed Oscar Grant.It’s a big freaking deal locally. Yesterday the local wires were full of news of Michele Obama’s East Bay visit and local celebrity Alice Waters. That article is full of folks from my Oakland ‘hood: the Claremont, Pizzaiolo, Blue Bottle coffee (I would’ve gone with Philz, it’s better).
But I am mostly thinking about food right now. It’s summer, and with the availability of fruit and zucchini skyrocketing I’m thinking light tasty food. Other people are thinking this way too. Alton Brown recommended yesterday on Twitter that hummus be in your fridge all summer. I disagree. It should be in your fridge all year long.
Sunday turned out to be a sunny, pleasant day (it still is in the fifties and sixties most days here) so I thought I’d make a nice dinner to eat outside. We had a broccoli/cheddar hybrid frittata/quiche with a fingerling potato crust, salad, and zucchini-corn fritters with cucumber-avocado salsa. The frittata/quich was something I’ve made before in a Mediterranean style, and the salad this time of year is great (we get ours with edible flowers!) but the fritters were really the big deal of this menu. So I thought I’d share the recipe.
[Dinner before and after. Fritters have magically disappeared.]
Fritters are not something I make often, being fried. The only two fried things I make now are these and onion rings, but they are a concession to my southern-ness, and neither is deep-fat fried, anyway. I grew up with chicken-corn fritters, but I think zucchini is a better option, taste-wise. These are lighter and fluffier, which is perfect for summer. The recipe is my version of one from Poppytalk from last summer. I’ve made a few changes – carrots, spiciness, baking the corn first, and I changed up the salsa (I get so bored with tomato salsas!), but I am much indebted for the idea and the thought of whipping the egg whites! These end up very similar to vegetable pakora, which I love also, and I may yet try this recipe with chickpea flour. I bet it would rock.
- 2 ears corn
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 sm zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/2 carrot, grated
- 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1+ tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/4 c milk
- 4 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
- salt/pepper to taste
- 3/4 cucumber, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 med-large lime, juiced
- salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grate zucchini and place in a colander, tossed with a light sprinkling of salt. After letting sit for about half an hour, squeeze zucchini dry. Set aside.
Shuck the ears of corn and wrap inside aluminum foil with 1 tbsp butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until kernels are tender. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool, slice the kernels off the corn. Set aside.
Meanwhile, mix salsa ingredients together and refrigerate to combine flavors.
In a medium bowl, combine grated zucchini, grated carrot, minced jalapeno, corn kernels, flour, baking powder, coriander, cayenne and cumin. In another small bowl, beat egg yolks with milk and stir into the vegetable-flour mix. Beat egg whites with a mixer until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold into the mixture. Mine ends up on the liquid side; it’s not a dough.
Heat the oil in a skillet to appropriate non-smoking frying temperature (medium-high works for me). Drop soup spoon sized clumps (2 tbsp or so) into oil. They should stick together and begin frying immediately. When they have set and browned on that side, flip over to brown the other side. These should cook slowly enough that the outsides don’t get too brown before the inside is cooked. You can flatten these if you’d like, I’ve seen fritters of all shapes. Remove cooked fritters to a towel-lined baking pan on low heat in the oven to keep warm.
Serve with salsa. Don’t hold your breath for leftovers.