Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hunt down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!
I have been busy being a craft queen and dumpling master over the past month. I have been endlessly folding (of wonton skins & recycled paper), making cushion covers from old garments, and hunting through junk shops. I had a break from industrial dumpling making and squeezed in this challenge – I adapted the sweet corn fritter using different vegetables. I love polenta pizzas, which uses the cornmeal batter for the base, and is cooked in a frying pan. These fritters are really quick to make and delicious!
A basic cornmeal batter (half the fritter recipe below minus the sweetcorn) can be flavoured with herbs and spices and used to coat fish, chicken strips, shrimp, or sliced vegetables which have been dredged in flour, such as onions, eggplant (aubergine), zucchini (courgette), firm tomatoes, broccoli or cauliflower florets, portabellas, etc., which are then fried until golden and cooked through. Frying can be deep or shallow depending on what you’re cooking. You can also use buttermilk instead of milk. Or add cheese, herbs and spices.
Cornmeal batter makes a great base for fritters. You can make fritters with just about anything in them, you can make them sweet, savory, or spicy – the possibilities are endless.
Recipe by: Rachael Thew, Yield: About 15, depending on size, Time: 5 minutes preparation, 6 minutes cooking per batch – about 30 minutes in total, Equipment: Bowl, spoon, frying pan
1 cup (240 ml) (170 gm) (6 oz) cornmeal
1 cup (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) (375 gm) (13 oz) sweetcorn, drained
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (180 ml) milk, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking powder
1 teaspoon (6 gm) salt
optional – finely chopped scallions, parsley, chives, cilantro (coriander), chillies, red peppers (red capsicum), shredded cheese, herbs, spices…
oil for frying (e.g. canola, sunflower, olive)
Place everything in a bowl except the oil and mix together well. Add more milk if it seems too thick.
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Working in batches, drop spoonful’s of the mixture into the pan. Fry the fritters for 2 or 3 minutes on each side, until golden. Add oil between batches as needed. Drain on paper towel and serve warm.
For a vegan version, leave out the eggs and use nut or soy milk (up the quantity to 1 cup or more). For a GF (gluten-free) version, use GF flour or use 2 cups cornmeal (the batter will be denser).