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Food
Corn fritters a cool way to pack in the vegetable

Thursday, June 14, 2001

By Suzanne Martinson, Food Editor, Post-Gazette

 

In the sweet corn season, sometimes our eyes are bigger than our appetites.

Then along comes Laura Miller of Coraopolis with a wonderful recipe called Mom's Corn Fritters.

It comes from her mother, Isabel Black, who now lives in Louisiana but came up with the recipe when the family lived in Baltimore.

"When we were living in Maryland, we had access to farm produce from neighbors, and it was my mother's way of turning not the best ears of corn into a good dish anyway," says Laura.

She's right -- it's a delicious dish.

It can be made either with leftover corn on the cob or with fresh uncooked corn. We made ours with kind of borderline fresh ears -- we can't even imagine how wonderful it will be with fresh local corn, which often arrives on the market here by the Fourth of July.

Although her mother always put syrup and honey on the table when she served the corn fritters, Laura considers it a savory dish. "I just love the taste of the corn. I don't even do the add-ins. I just go straight with the corn; even if it's not a great corn year, it's still good."

She does prefers fresh corn to frozen. "With the fresh, you pick your ears, and with my gang, I use leftovers any way I can."

Laura's family, which includes four children, Hannah, 12, Tom, 4, Joy, 3, and Hope, 2, just had their first fritters of the season the weekend before we called. "It's a good side for any summer dinner -- baked chicken, barbecue hot dogs -- if you're going to do something quick and easy."

Indeed, ours took less than the half-hour Countdown requirements. We had a troubling experience, though. The first batch of fritters, which are a rather thin consistency, were the usual rounds. Then the shapes started to get crazy. We saw creatures like an elephant with its long trunk and even the outline of what appeared to be a pregnant woman.

Laura assured us that the abstract shapes were perfectly normal for the recipe. "Sometimes they have little feet that stick out -- kids like that part of it," she says.

Come fall, Laura and her husband will be facing a new challenge when they will begin home-schooling their children.

"There will be a lot of preparation, so we're doing fun things over the summer to get geared up," she says. "We wanted more of a hands-on involvement with their development, including academics."

Laura is no stranger to the classroom, having taught high school English for two years, though she says she's more worried about teaching her 5-year-old to read than about attacking Algebra II.

"Complex topics are a lot easier," she says. Nor is she concerned abut the differences in her children's ages. Every classroom is a collection of individual needs to meet. "I did that anyway, with different maturity levels and ability levels."


Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.


MOM'S CORN FRITTERS

1.1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar

Butter and heat griddle. Combine ingredients and drop mixture by tablespoonful onto hot griddle surface. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Serve hot.

Can add one of the following for extra flavoring: 1/4 teaspoon paprika; 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce; 1/8 teaspoon cumin; 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro or chives (we experimented with chives, which we liked).

Thursday, June 07, 2001

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