Pearly Delights-Sweetcorn January 2010
As a country New Zealand is a pretty big grower of sweetcorn so a day trip out of the city will bring you in to contact with acres and acres of corn blowing in the summer wind.
Its a complete food. Wrapped up in it's own little package, you only need to have a wee peek inside just in case to make sure all is as it should be before you take it home for some heat treatment.
All over the world corn is used in so many ways.
In Japan you will find it floating on the top of your ramen bowl, through South America it is everything-ground to make flour, turned into tortillas, makes appearances in soups, salads and basked in the char of a good bbq. Elsewhere it is made into fritters, cakes, sweets and savories...all are part of the sweetcorn's repertoire.
I do like a simple old fashioned fritter using sweetcorn.Its something my mum use to make and I make it when I feel like something easy and summery to serve with a big green garden salad.
Select the best corn you can that shows no signs of drying out at all. The tip of the husk should be green, not brown or dry and the corn itself when you pull back a leaf or two should be plump and a nice white yellow. The whole cob itself should feel plump and heavy when you pick it up which tells you it hasn't started drying out at all.
Next I select my favorite fritter ingredients-spring onions, a fillet or two of super fresh fish such as ling, guarnard or terakihi. You could use snapper or for those you elsewhere any firm white fleshed fish will do the trick. You could even use fresh diced uncooked prawns, mussels or shellfish.
I do like a bit of texture so I add one grated zucchini also to the mix as well as a few vital touches of seasoning and just one teaspoon of baking powder to keep things light and fluffy. I try to use as little flour as possible to again keep things light and not gluey. The flour acts more as a binding agent to really just keep it all together but is very thin.
Cooked in small rounds in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan, make sure they are cooked through and nice and brown before resting them to drain on some kitchen paper.
Easy Summer Corn and Fish Fritters
2 white fish fillets, washed and patted dry and diced
1 spring onion, white and green parts, chopped finely
2 corn cobs, husks removed and corn cut from the cob
1 zuchinni, grated
1 free range egg
milk to mix
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
In a bowl, mix the fish, spring onion, corn, zucchini and egg together well.
Add salt and pepper, the flour, baking powder and add milk as needed to make a batter that is chunky but not gluey. Mix gently so as to not over stimulate the gluten in the flour and make them tough.
Cook in small batches in a heavy based fry pan in grapeseed oil till golden brown on each side-2-3 minutes.
Drain on kitchen paper and then oil onto a serving platter with wedges of lemon.