Summer has arrived in the way of produce in my house and I’m loving it. This past Sunday I took a stroll through the farmers market and wanted everything. I always fall victim to “eating with my eyes,” so I always give myself a budget – in this case it was $20. As I walked through the market, the pretty heirloom tomatoes called my name, the stone fruit looked amazing, the citrus was beautiful, but it was the corn that really lured me in. Even through their sturdy husks, I could smell their sweetness – one whiff and I was sold!
I love consuming corn in its raw state (why mess with a good thing?), but on occasion when I’m craving something more filling, I love making things like pancakes and fritters with the stuff. These fritters begin by browning butter. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor. (And if you have to add butter to a batter, why not brown it?!). The sweet corn is charred over the gas stove (of course, you could use a grill, too), giving the sweet corn a nice touch. The batter is laced with stone-ground cornmeal, adding great texture and Monterey jack cheese. Everything is better with cheese. It’s a dreamy batter, I tell you.
These corn fritters would be wonderful with a drizzle of honey atop them, but if you’re looking for something more savory, I recommend this buttermilk ranch dressing. If you have any dressing leftover, you can easily thin it out a bit by adding more buttermilk and tossing it with beautiful butter lettuce. I’m so into summer right now.
Charred Sweet Corn Fritters with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ear sweet corn, husk removed and washed
- Vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup stone-ground cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, whole milk
- 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack (cheddar would work great, too!)
- In a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Watching it carefully and stirring on occasion, continue cooking the butter as it transforms from yellow and foamy to golden brown with brown speckles throughout. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the brown butter in a ramekin. Cool the butter to room temperature. (This is a particularly important step because if you add warm butter to the cold milk, the butter will seize. If this happens, warm the milk and butter mixture until the butter remelts.)
- Rest the corn on the grate of your gas stove and turn the heat to medium. Char the corn on all sides, rotating it every 30 seconds or so. Cut the kernels off the cob and set them aside.
- Heat 4-inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot to 325 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, Old Bay and salt. In a measuring cup or small bowl, measure out the milk and the cooled melted butter; whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The mixture will be thick. Fold in the charred corn kernels and cheese.
- Using a 2-ounce ice cream scooper, drop scoops of batter into the hot oil. Cook the fritters for 3-4 minutes, flipping them at the 2 minute-mark, until they're golden brown on both sides. Transfer them to a bed of paper towels to drain. Serve with honey or buttermilk dressing.
Yield: 16 fritters
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice (I used Texas Pete)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a small bowl, combine all the mayonnaise, yogurt and buttermilk until thoroughly combined.
- Mix in the garlic clove, shallot, Italian parsley, chives and hot sauce.
- Salt and pepper the dressing, adjusting the flavor as you'd like.
Yield: 3/4 cup buttermilk dressing
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.