Friday, July 12, 2013

Munchies: Farm-fresh Corn Fritters

July’s Let’s Lunch theme is Munchies, in honor of #Letslunch founder Cheryl Tan’s new short story in The Marijuana Chronicles, edited by Jonathan Santlofer. Other authors in the anthology include Lee Child and Joyce Carol Oates...Woot! So proud of my friend!

Anyhoo, for a while I was stumped as how to come up with post to support the theme o.0 Luckily Cheryl explained that any food that satisfied the munchies that we all get from time to time would work. Well, I live in Texas and knew exactly what she meant -- Fried Food! Yup, nothing satisfies the munchies as hot, fried food straight from the stove.

 And since I like to cook with seasonal produce, I turned to our local farmers' market for ingredients. We seem to be experiencing a wonderful bounty of sweet corn...

So of course, I decided to turn them into some yummy Asian-style fritter! In Bangladesh we call them pakoras and have them on rainy evenings with tea. Well, since I'm in Texas, imagine me saying cheers with an ice-cold beer and hot spicy corn pakoras :)

 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour (also known as besan)
4 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups corn kernel (fresh off the cob, frozen or canned)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced red onions
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
Oil for deep frying

1.  In a mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder and turmeric.

2. In another bowl, break eggs and whisk with milk. Add in the corn, onions, cilantro, peppers and stir.

3. Add the flour mix into the wet mix, stirring with a fork from time to time to blend and break up lumps. You should end up with thick colorful batter.

4. Heat the oil in a wok or small frying pan over medium-high heat (the oil should be at least 1 inch deep). When the oil is hot, drop in a 1/4 tsp. of the mixture. If it sizzles and begins to cook, the oil is ready. If not, the oil needs to heat a little longer.

5. When oil is ready, drop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into the oil - this will be 1 fritter. Add as many tablespoons to the oil at one time as you have room for in your pan, without allowing fritters to touch or join together.

6. Allow fritters to cook at least 1 minute before disturbing - or until they have a more solid form - then gently turn them with your tongs or a spatula to fry the other side. Fritters are done when they're golden-brown on both sides.

7. Remove from oil and allow to drain on an absorbent towel or paper. Continue cooking the fritters in batches until all the mixture is used up.

8. Serve with Cilantro-Mint sauce or sweet-chili sauce found in Asian groceries.

 For more tasty munchies, follow #LetsLunch on Twitter or visit some of the other celebratory posts:

 Hapa Mama's Fry Sauce with an Asian Twist

 Cheryl's Spam Fries with Key Lime Mayo at A Tiger in the Kitchen

 Annabelle‘s Scallion Pancakes at Glass of Fancy

 Linda‘s Sam Sifton’s Trinidadian Chinese Five Spice Chicken at Spice Box Travels

 Pat’s Sausage Rolls at The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

 Emma’s Homemade Pizza Rolls at Dreaming of Pots and Pans

 Anne Marie’s Awesome Simple Sandwich for Munchies at Sandwich Surprise

 Lisa’s No-Wait Nachos at Monday Morning Cooking Club

 Vivian‘s Spam Bacon & Kim Chi Sandwich at Vivian Pei