Lend me your Ear

Late summer and the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, or so the song from the classic Broadway hit Oklahoma! goes.

Corn, corn, corn. Each of the many mom-and-pops vegetable stands that we passed on our vacation was offering it by the pile. I love those little tables erected on the side of the roads….the crazy, hand-painted signs (misspellings included. I counted three versions of the word tomato) and the usual trust of the honor system.

One store that I went into while on vacation had “local Bi-color corn”. When I first read the sign quickly, I spaced out and thought “wow, what the heck colors is it?!”. My creative, 64-Crayola box girl got the best of me for a moment there. Ugh, white and yellow April, otherwise known as Butter and Sugar corn. Guess up in the country, they get all fancy with the names. I laughed to myself and was happy that I didn’t pose that question out loud to someone. We all have our moments.

What’s a gal to do with a ton of corn that is so good you want to buy it all but have no idea how you are going to cook it and stay interested? One can only boil so many ears. You can, I’ve discovered, buy all the fresh, fabulous corn now, give it a quick cook, cut it off the ears and freeze it.  Then you are free it to use at a later date, ie the middle of winter when you are so sick of root vegetables that you want to scream.

One of my favorite ways to use corn is the all-mighty and delicious Corn Fritter. I found this recipe a zillion years ago in a Mary Englebreit cookbook. Serve it up with a dollop of greek yogurt (or sour cream) and a drizzle of real maple syrup and you have yourself a meatless meal that will make you lick the plate. Whip up a side salad with a good vinaigrette dressing to cut the starch of the fritters and it’s perfection.

Ear you are… (hahaha)…

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 Tb. unsalted butter, melted and warm
6 Tb. milk
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)…cooked (or defrosted frozen ones)
2 Tb. diced red bell pepper
1.5 Tb. minced fresh chives
greek yogurt or sour cream
vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, stirring well until combined. Add the egg, the melted butter and milk, stirring until completely combined. Stir in the corn, bell pepper and chives.

In a heavy skillet, add enough vegetable oil to coat bottom of pan and heat until very hot but not smoking. Drop the batter by generous tablespoons into the pan, flattening each fritter with the back of a spoon. Cook until golden brown and then flip. Cook for another few minutes until golden on other side. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.

Can be kept warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you want to serve all together.


2 thoughts on “Lend me your Ear

  1. are these like a corn bread consistency or pancake? Seriously, one of the best pancakes I ever had was on the Jersey Shore at a place called Uncle Bill’s Pancake House… I had corn pancakes- literally corn kernals added to pancake batter (from scratch). So simple… soooo delish!!

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