I never realized how difficult it would be to make a “real meal” when I have done minimal shopping and am scraping through the contents at the back of the cupboard. I wasn’t too concerned today, considering I am cooking for myself, but I then had the genius idea of inviting my friend Kristen to join me. With less than an hour until she was scheduled to arrive at my door, I frantically searched out something to make that was not only a complete meal, but for someone I had never cooked for before!
The two things I could find in the depths of our kitchen were some chicken tenders and a can of corn. They sat on the counter, staring up at me. I had no clue what to do! I started off slowly, seasoning the chicken with paprika and cumin and sticking it in the oven. At least I knew that would taste ok. But canned corn?
I had recently seen some recipes for latkas, since Passover is right around the corner, and as my brain frantically searched for the possibility of a corn and chicken latka (if they exist) it came to me — corn fritters.
Looking for a recipe online I discovered that many Southern corn fritters are actually served sweet, with sugar added to the batter and topped with honey, syrup, or jam. I hoped I wasn’t getting myself into a semi-fried dough fest! I decided I would have to be daring, would have to go outside my comfort zone — and create a recipe myself.
1 can corn, drained
3/4 cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Blend)
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
Mix flour, milk, and seasoning together to form a batter similar to a pancake batter. Stir in the corn.
Heat a frying pan and spoon in the batter to create mini pancakes about 2 inches in diameter. Flip when bubbles appear on the top. Remove from heat when they are cooked through.
The first one of these guys to come out of the frying pan was a test of my own bravery. What if they were awful?! I took a careful bite, only mildly burning the roof of my mouth in the process (what can I say? I am impatient!). And…they were delicious! The sweetness of the corn rocked! The pancake batter (somehow) turned out perfectly, a subtle background to the corn that stole the show. They were light and crisp, and completely yum! I whipped up a little tomato sauce with some paprika, garlic, and cumin, and served it alongside as a hot dipping sauce. Paired with the paprika chicken and some frozen veggies, I actually managed to put out a decent (somewhat picnic-y) meal.
I have learned a lot about myself from all of the cooking I have done recently. Though my Mom probably could have made a feast with what is in my fridge (or just made me run to the store) I was proud to have thought on the fly, come up with my own recipe, and served it to someone who (I think) decently liked it! These corn fritters will definitely be making an appearance in other meals, hopefully during the summer when corn is at its peak, fresh off the cob! Actually scratch that, I will probably just eat it off the cob. We have yet to venture into my corn on the cob obsession. Another story.
Have you ever made up your own recipe on the fly? Did you win or fail?