Don't Fret Fritters
by Missy Chase Lapine
You don’t have to wait for National Corn Fritter Day (July 16th!) to enjoy these Southern treats. Traditionally battered and deep-fried, this sneaky recipe adds four hidden veggies and two whole grains to the favorite dish, all while managing to keep the classic look and taste intact.
Makes 18 to 20 fritters
2 egg whites
1⁄2 cup White Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)
1⁄2 small onion, finely chopped (about 1⁄2 cup)
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1⁄4 cup low-fat sweetened condensed milk
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup cornmeal
1⁄2 cup whole wheat flour, plus additional as needed
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup chopped jalapeño peppers (about 1–2 jalapeños)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk the egg whites in a medium-size bowl. Mix in the White Puree, onion, corn, condensed milk, and salt. Mix in the cornmeal, flour, jalapeño peppers, and freshly ground pepper.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Turn the heat down to medium if the oil starts to smoke.
Drop four single tablespoonfuls of batter onto the hot skillet, gently flattening each with a spatula. Cook until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the fritters over with a spatula and cook the other sides until golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the next batch of 4 fritters, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Place the cooked fritters on a plate lined with paper towels to blot away excess oil.
White Puree Make-Ahead Recipe:
- 2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1⁄2 a small head)
- 2 small to medium zucchini, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if necessary
Makes about 2 cups of puree
Pour about 2 inches of water into a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Put a vegetable steamer basket into the pot, add the cauliflower, and steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Alternatively, place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl, cover the cauliflower with water, and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes or until very tender. Drain.
While cauliflower steams, pulse the raw peeled zucchini with the lemon juice (no water at this point) in your food processor. Once the cauliflower is cooked and tender, working in batches if necessary, add 1 tablespoon of water and some of the cauliflower to the food processor with the pulsed zucchini. Puree on high until smooth. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth out the puree, but the less water, the better.
This recipe makes about 2 cups of puree; double it if you want to store another 2 cups. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
Missy Chase Lapine is the former publisher of Eating Well magazine. A mother of two young daughters, she knows how picky kids can be—and she’s got the kitchen experiments to prove it! She is on the Culinary Arts facility of The New School, in New York City, and also gives cooking classes and coaching to busy families hoping to learn how to eat healthier. Her book, The Sneaky Chef, is published by Running Press. Her next book The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen) will be out in April 2008. You can learn more about Missy at her website, www.thesneakychef.com