Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fritter Chronicles: Can't Get Enough

What's not to like about corn? It's sweet, it makes a fun sound and it's happy being a main course, side dish or condiment. Now contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food's foments on his fritter fascination with a recipe that includes this versatile vegetable.

I had some leftover corn on the cob, and while I’d planned to do a simple corn and tomato salad, I ended up making corn calas, a rice fritter we’d had when we ate at Cochon in New Orleans. I’ve said before how familiar the simple Cajun food seemed, and the calas sure seemed related to all the other fritters I make.

Calas traditionally were sort of rice beignets, deep fried and served with sugar or cane syrup. These are pan fried, more like corn cakes.

Corn and Rice Calas
Adapted from Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana

Combine the kernels cut from 2-3 ears of cooked corn with half an onion, finely diced, a diced frying pepper (like a Jimmy Nardello, although any sweet or even a hot pepper would work), a couple of eggs, a cup or so of cooked rice, and a few tablespoons each of flour and corn meal. Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and healthy dash of cayenne.

Heat a heavy skillet and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Drop spoonfulls of the batter into the skillet and flip when nicely browned. Sprinkle with flor de sal.


Cathy said...

Hi Kathleen - I really enjoyed your recent Oregonian article about the Hmong people and their cuisine.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks, Cathy! It was a wonderful story to tell, and the book is well worth reading just to learn about the culture, not to mention the truly authentic (and delicious!) recipes it contains.