Why kid ourselves? Fried things are delicious and have been for centuries. But everytime I read an article about health conscious people or doctors trying to scare the world into succumbing to a non-fried, non-carb, all vegan diet, I can’t help but wonder why no one is talking about the concept of moderation. In fact, in the ten years that I’ve really researched food and diet, Weight Watchers is the only organization that makes any attempt to teach people how to make better eating decisions instead of completely cutting out an entire portion of the food pyramid.
From where I sit, it’s relatively simple. If you eat fried foods consistently and make it a staple at your work lunches and last minute dinners, you’re body is not going to react well and you are putting yourself at risk for major health problems. But is there anything wrong with enjoying a fried meal once a week especially if it contains healthier ingredients? I say no. So in that respect, I submit for you a cornmeal based vegetarian fritter that is incredibly easy to prepare and sure to appease most anyone that sits at your dinner table.
- 1 c packed zucchini, grated
- 1 c frozen corn kernals (can use fresh off the cob, never canned)
- 3/4 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 c Jiffy corn muffin mix
- 1/4 c white onion, minced
- 1/2 c milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil, for frying
1. Heat some olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place the corn, zucchini, thyme, and onion in the sauté pan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the pan off the heat and let cool.
2. Combine the flour, muffin mix, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix the egg and milk together and pour into the dry mix. Whisk until just combine. Fold in the sauteed vegetables and cilantro. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Note: The batter will be lumpy. This is normal and should be ignored. If you whisk the batter too much, you will develop more gluten and your fritters will be dense. Dense = bad.
4. Heat 2″ worth of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When the oil has come up to temperature (around 325 degrees), drop a heaping tablespoon of batter into the oil. Repeat until the pan is full but the fritters are not touching.
Note: Work in batches. Don’t try to overcrowd the oil. Not only will too much batter lower the temperature of the oil, but your fritters will stick together.
5. When golden brown, flip the fritters over and finish cooking. Set the fritters on some paper towels to drain.
Note: To keep fritters warm between batches, set the oven to 200 degrees and place fritters on a sheet pan.
6. Serve fritters alone or with a dipping sauce.
Note: I’m serving these fritters with a spicy remoulade sauce.