Feel the fear and fry it anyway • 09.25.09
I’m kind of afraid to fry. I bake and I steam and I love love love to roast. But, I always feel really guilty and a little scared about frying. And I know I’m not alone. I was having a glass of wine with a friend a week ago and she admitted that she loved to make homemade chips (french fries) but that she almost never did, because she felt guilty eating fried things at home. I’m the same way! I will eat some fried foods when I go out to eat, but I view those as a naughty treat… not something I’m brave enough to eat my own home, where nutrition rules.
Then, over the weekend, I stumbled across this old article about fritters by Amanda Hesser. She makes a great case against the fear of frying… including the totally true and often forgotten (by me!) fact that, if food is fried at the right temperature and drained correctly, it will have no more fat than food that is sauteed. Revolutionary!
So, feeling brave and armed with several sweet ears of early autumn corn and a mandate from Amanda to embrace the idea of occasional fried food at home… especially fritters… I got out the frying pan.
These fritters made a great “TV dinner” while we
watched some football last week. YUM!
I didn’t use much oil at all actually, which made me feel better. So did the tons of fresh vegetable salsa that I piled on my finished Sweet Corn and Chorizo Fritters. But what really made me feel good was eating those fritters. They were delicious and absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Sweet corn and chorizo fritters
For the fritters:
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, cut off the cobs, but not cooked
5 pieces of chorizo, finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of flour plus more if needed
For the salsa:
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 large handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped
juice of 1 lime
Place all of the ingredients for the fritters into a large bowl and mix well. The mixture should look like a lumpy cake batter. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour. The fritter batter should be fairly stiff and thick. You want it to clump together when it’s put into the pan.
Put the batter into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, place a large, deep frying pan over a medium low heat. Add enough vegetable oil to fill the pan with 2 inches of oil.
When the oil is hot enough, it should “fizz” around a wooden skewer or toothpick held in the oil. It’s really important to get the oil hot enough so the fritters don’t absorb too much oil while they are cooking.
Remove the fritter batter from the fridge and give it a good stir. Drop by spoonfuls into the oil. You can decide how big you want your fritters. I made fairly large ones and we had 3 each for dinner. But, these would be great in a smaller size as a starter or nibble.
While the first batch of fritters is bubbling away, combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and mix very well. Taste for seasoning. If the salsa is too sour, add a few drops of olive oil.
Flip the fritters after about 3 minutes, or when they are golden on the bottom. Cook the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove carefully from the oil and drain well on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Serve the fritters topped with salsa, a cold beer and some sports on TV!