Friday, August 6, 2010

Corn Fritters, Home-Ground Burgers, Caramelized Onions

It's summer, so all I want is corn, corn, corn. Well, not really. But with highly seasonal ingredients, I like to eat copious amounts of them--to the point where I've totally OD'd and don't even want to think about said ingredient any more.
You see, that way, I don't mind that whatever I'm binging on is highly seasonal and I won't be eating it again for almost a year. No problem! I don't want to anyway! No pining for tomatoes with basil in the middle of January. Nope, I'm okay with some Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.

So how was I to eat this corn? We had already made our Golden Corn Chowder, and I wasn't in the mood to make the Creamless Creamed Corn (coming soon). In fact, I wanted something all-new, something all made-up.
As you may know, I have a zucchini fritter problem. I'm almost successfully rehabilitated, so I figure it's time for a corn fritter addiction. Bring it on.

Corn Fritters

  • 6 ears of corn, the kernels cut off
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 scallions, light and dark green parts, finely sliced
  • Hot sauce (optional)
Place the corn kernels in a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cumin, and taste for seasoning. Add the eggs, flour, and sour cream, and mix to incorporate. Add the jalapeno, pepper and scallions and mix again.

In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, drop the batter into the skillet to make fritters that are about 4 inches in diameter. Cook until the very outer edges start to look dry; some bubbles may appear. This will likely take about 6 minutes, and when flipped, the fritter should appear golden brown.
Cook on the other side until light golden, about 3 minutes.
I like to serve them with hot sauce and sour cream.

 We enjoyed these with home-ground burgers, which were awesome. As you probably know, store-bought ground meat should not be served medium-rare or medium because all the bacteria that was on the outside is now on the inside where it's multiplying exponentially. Therefore, unless the ground meat product is cooked all the way through, you may get some dangerous nastiness in your meal.
However, if you buy a big hunk of meat and grind it at home, using sanitary technique, of course, then you can eat the ground meat product even if it's cooked to medium-rare or medium.
For this reason, I invested in the inexpensive grinder for the Kitchenaid stand mixer. I'm not a fan of dried out, killed burgers, and it's not a good idea to order 'undercooked' burgers when out in a restaurant. So I figured I'll do it at home.
In fact, this batch was accidentally cooked to medium-well, and they were still better than the average burger, most likely because we used quality meat and treated it right.
So if you decide to get a grinder attachment, here's how to make some yummy burgers:

Home-Ground Burgers

  • 1/2 pounds chuck
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the chuck into 1-inch pieces. Season the meat with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. When the meat is firm to the touch but not frozen through, pass it through the grinder.

Gently form the meat into patties. You don't want to over handle the meat, as it will make the burgers less tender. Grill to the desired doneness. Serve with your favorite fixin's.

We served ours with the standard lettuce, tomato, and raw onion. We also had bacon, because we can. Aaaaannd, we had Nick's awesome caramelized onions, otherwise known as 'tadpoles.' Here's how to make them:

Nick's Awesome Caramelized Onions
(a.k.a. "Tadpoles")

Cut an onion or two into thin slices. I read somewhere that if you go along the lines of the onion, then you break fewer cells, so you get less sulpher-y tasting slices. I don't know if that's true, but that's what we do.

In a small pan, melt a tablespoon of butter. When the foaming has subsided, add the onions. In a few minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Cook the onions over very low heat for at least 40 minutes, and up to an hour or two. Stir occasionally, and add a little bit more butter if the onions start to dry out. The onions are done when they are a deep golden color, and they're so tender they're almost melting. Or until you're just sick of cooking them.


No comments: