We grew up eating a lot of corn. A summer staple, we always ate it the way God made it – fresh from the cob. A quick roll in a stick of salted butter was the only addition. So, a little short on experience, I hatched a plan to serve corn fritters during this week’s Saturday morning Eastern Market demo. Fortunately God smiled on me just like he smiles on the corn.
Now, I make a mean zucchini pancake, so I had a few of the basics down, but I was certainly ready to accept some expert advice, which arrived in the form of Art Smith, Chef/Owner of DC’s Art and Soul and a return contestant on the current season on Top Chef Masters. It was test night, and once we had nailed down the recipes for a fresh plum soup and cold peanut-sauced soba noodles, I stepped out of the way.
If you have any doubts, Chef Art’s reputation as a top chef is well earned. It was a wonderful experience watching him bring the recipe together, instinctively finding the right texture and flavor. After a quick test batch he settled on a slightly thick batter, lots of corn and just a couple tablespoons of oil in the pan.
Thank you Art for a wonderful night! My kitchen definitely feels a bit hipper.
- 1/2 tbs salt
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 tbs honey
- 4 ears corn, kernels removed
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Olive oil for frying
- Mix together dry ingredients – salt, baking powder, flour and corn meal – in a large bowl.
- Mix together wet ingredients – eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, butter and honey – in a second bowl.
- Purée one cup of corn in a food processor and add to wet ingredients along with cheddar cheese.
- Stir the remaining corn into the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in gently just until mixed. The less you work it the better. Add additional buttermilk to get a wet, thick batter.*
- Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a 12” skillet and fry batter in 1/4 cup cakes.
- When solid enough, flip cakes and serve with syrup, fresh berries or salsa.
*Baking may be an exact science, but recipes aren’t. The moisture level of your dry ingredients can change the amount of liquid you need to add. The size of your eggs and the moisture in the corn will affect how much buttermilk you need. Don’t be afraid to play around with the amounts listed above, one tablespoon at a time.