I imagine that one eats this kind of thing for brunch in Australia. It makes me think of Mr. Sunshine himself, Bill Granger. Sweetcorn is an ingredient I have rarely cooked with outside of the context of ‘corn-on-the-cob’, with melted butter and salt and pepper. We didn’t eat it other than that at home and as such, it is one of the greatest edible pleasures to be had from a few minutes of boiling water. But anyway. There has been a slow creep of sweetcorn awareness in the last six months or so. At my brother Henry’s birthday at Ceviche in October, the Peruvian corn cake really got to me and my mum – having not expected it to play much more than a ‘filler’ role in the dinner, it was possibly our favourite dish. I wanted to make it at home – this never happened. Another influence has been my housemate Jack, who regularly has sweetcorn with panfried chicken breast and gravy for his weeknight suppers which always look so tasty and comforting. So finally on Sunday night after emerging from a 10 hour stint in the library, I picked up a few tins. The toasty warmth of nigella seeds really work with the sweetcorn. Incidentally, Zoe also cooked with sweetcorn on Sunday night – she made a butternut squash and sweetcorn soup, that I am pestering her to write down.
Enough for 2 people
1 tin sweetcorn (– this one from M&S is larger than normal size 275g, drained weight)
3 heaped tablespoons, plain flour (I am sure white Spelt would work too)
2 teaspoons, baking powder
milk – add until as thick as double cream
1 heaped teaspoon, curry powder
2 level teaspoons, nigella (black onion) seeds
1 generous pinch, turkish (or mild) chilli flakes
1 pointy red pepper, grilled until sweet and a bit charred, skin and seeds removed
1-2 spring onions, grilled until sweet
(optional) 2 rashers bacon
Juice ½ lime
2 tablespoons, Greek (or just natural) yogurt
pinch of salt
How I made it:
Mix together the flour and the baking powder, curry powder and nigella seeds with a hefty pinch of salt. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl and add a small cup of milk – around 150ml. Add the dry ingredients. If it is too dry, beat with a whisk and add more milk until it’s the consistency of thick double cream. Stir in the sweetcorn. If the mixture is too thin, add more flour, or it it’s too dry, add a dash more milk and mix well.
Meanwhile – grill the pepper, the bacon and the spring onions. Mix the yogurt.
Heat up a non-stick frying pan and add a little oil. When it is very hot, cook fritters by adding a small ladleful of the batter to the pan. Turn over after a few minutes. When cooked through (should not be wet batter in the middle) set aside in a warm oven. Continue until batter is finished.
Assemble salad, drizzle with olive oil and season. Serve fritters with lime yogurt, a sprinkling of chilli flakes and optional rashers of bacon. A poached egg might be good, too.