corn fritters, red kidney beans with jalapeño, rice


These fritters are so light and delicate they can hardly be moved without breaking apart. Every ingredient and every result is déclassé as can be and yet incredibly satisfying individually and together. The flavor riot is loud, the textures varying and pleasing, there is a real meal here, it includes butter and egg and bacon grease. 

And the bulk of it is from tins.


The first time Mum made corn fritters I was six and I could not get enough of them. I ate them as fast as she could make them. Pile after pile. They are an amazing invention and they left a lasting impression. 

I always wanted her to make her magic corn fritters.

She made them with tinned creamed corn.

I processed half the tin of regular corn and left the rest whole and treated the liquid separately adding it in increments as I went along creating a pancake-like mixture.

I diced half an onion and beat an egg into it with sugar. Then salt. Whole corn and processed corn from the same tin, liquid from the tin. It has chile powder and black pepper. And masa harina instead of corn meal. A teaspoon of bacon grease. That's it. I think.

Next time I'll use a little flour also, say a tablespoon, and enough compensating liquid, to behave as paste to help hold together better. That is the single improvement I imagine.
[Baking powder activates in the bowl while holding its turn to be fried. You don't want that. You don't want the chemical leaven to activate before you are ready to pour the batter into the pan. Baking power is added separately for each frying batch. Batter for each batch is transferred to a separate bowl and baking power for that portion alone added. That way it cannot activate before you are ready to use it.]
Children will love these. 

The beans are a world to themselves. The jalapeño added unwanted vinegar so that is countered with sugar as well. The bleu cheese warps that odd sweet/sour profile to something alien and unexpected. It does not belong.

The rice is also sweet and sour, also with bacon grease, also with strong flavors of ginger, garlic, and mustard, but all that muted by starch and diminished comfortably by the outrageous aggressively flavored beans. While the corn fritters cast back to childhood. Yes, a very good meal. For me.

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