Corn Fritters with Serrano Honey and Gremolata
Corn Fritters with Serrano Honey and Gremolata
By Victoria Challancin
This is one of those recipes that instantly grabbed me when I spied it in my weekly CUESA newsletter. Modern, healthy, and with an interesting blend of components, I knew it would work. And wow, it certainly did. To say these fritters were a hit is a gross understatement. Everyone loved them, including my class, family and house guest!
CUESA, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, operates the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market in San Francisco. In addition to its educational programs, the organization feature cooking classes and provides interesting recipes for using fresh produce in its weekly newsletter. If you don't know this site, you should definitely check it out for some interesting and healthy recipes. For example, Summer Vegetables in Green Chile Atole with Fresh Cheese or Grilled Corn or Arugula Salad with Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette--what's not to love?
The honey, ready to heat (yes, the orange zest is unfortunately green)
Serrano Chiles, Mexico's own
A Few Notes on Serrano Chiles
This is a short excerpt from my Guide to Mexican Chiles, which I hope to offer as a free download soon.
The name "serrano" refiers to the highlanders from the Sierras, or mountains of Mexico.
Size: 1 1/2 -3 inches x 1/2 inch
Description: A thick[walled, elongated, cylindrical chile with a glossy, bright to deep green color that ripens to red.
Heat Scale: 7 out of 10
Other Names: This chile is so common in Mexico that it is typically simply called chile verde, or green chile. It is also sometimes called típico, or typical, for the same reason.
Uses: It is used in guacamole, relishes, salsas, as a seasoning, grilled or fried (called toreados--a popular table-side accompaniment to grilled meats), in cooked dishes, and dpickled. Raw or cooked, this is the most-used chile in Mexico.
Overview: This is the chile of choice in Mexico for table sauces, just as the jalapeño is in the United States. When you want to add a bright, sharp, uncomplicated heat, this is the chile to use. The seeds are rarely removed.
The strained honey--now I am consumed with thinking of all the ways I can use it!
Recipe: Corn Fritters with Serrano Honey and Gremolata
(Recipe from CUESA)
1 serrano chile
1 dried ancho chile
1 orange, zest only
1 cup local honey
2 oranges, zest only
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ears fresh corn
12/ cup buttermilk
2 serrano chiles
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup minced sweet pepper
2 12/ cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons kosher salt (I used a bit less)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oil (I used a bit more)
To make the serrano honey, split the chiles and remove the seeds and ribs. Remove the stem and seeds from the ancho chile. Use a peeler or microplane zester to remove the zest from the orange. Combine the serrano, the ancho chile, the orange zest, and honey in a sauce pan and bring just to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and let steep for at least 1 hour or until cool. Reheat and strain.
To make the gremolata, use a microplane to remove the zest from the oranges. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to coat the parsley in oil.
To make the fritters, steam the corn in the husk, then shuck and remove the kernels from the cob.
Measure 2 cups of corn kernels into a mixing bowl and set aside. Place the remaining corn in a blender with the buttermilk and eggs and purée. Add the purée to the corn kernels in the mixing bowl.
Split the serrano chiles, remove the seeds and ribs, and mince. Mince the cilantro leaves. Add the cerranos, shallots, sweet pepper, and cilantro to the bowl. Stir in the flour and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Drop 2 tablespoons of corn batter into the heated skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
To serve, arrange on a serving plate and drizzle infused honey over the top. Finish with a pinch of gremolata.
A huge pile of fritters
A Couple of Class Photos
A couple of my students, happily at work...
Magali and Paula sharing a laugh (Paula has just finished high school and begins university in two weeks to study gastronomy with a scholarship obtained via the NGO I work with called Mujeres en Cambio--check it out here)
Laura zesting the sad green oranges
Vero, intent on learning--and having a good time while at it!
Note: I have added this to the amazing and talented Nancy at Spicie Foodie for her YBR (Your Best Recipe) as my entry for my favorite recipe posted in September.
©Victoria Challancin. All Rights Reserved.
Remember that like life, recipes are meant to be shared, but please ask permission before using photos or text. Thanks!