Oh, life is funny sometimes. And by funny, I mean this: Life is abolutely, positively never dull. Let me explain…
So, I’ve been thinking about this particular recipe/post for a few weeks now. As you may recall, CM (from Burwell General Store) and I did a recipe swap not too long ago, wherein we made our own interpretations of a recipe from Autumn Spiced Pudding from an old cookbook/hymnal called All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground. We had such a good time with the swap, that we decided to do another – and this time we invited Toni at Boulder Locavore to join in on the fun. CM selected another recipe from the same cookbook, and we’ve had the last couple weeks to dream up ideas and interpretations.
For this swap, CM selected a very simple recipe: Fern’s Fried Apple Fritters.
She gave us no restrictions for our interpretations – the only stipulation was that our creations had to be somewhere in the fritter family (and that we had to have fun!). As soon as I heard that we were making fritters, I knew that I wanted to make Green Papata Fritters. I got the idea from one of Nich and I’s absolute favorite places to eat – The Whisky Soda Lounge. The WSL is the sister restaurant of the acclaimed Thai restaurant, Pok Pok. Originally created as an overflow space for Pok Pok, the WSL was designed to be a place for diners to get a drink and snack while waiting for a table across the street. However, Nich and I don’t even bother with Pok Pok anymore, we just go to the WSL for the Green Papaya Fritters. They are just so ridiculously good. That being said, I decided that since I love these particular fritters so very much, I would use this opportunity to make my own version of the beloved green papaya fritter.
And then, plans changed. On Friday night I ate some particularly spicy Chinese food…and let’s just say that it didn’t sit well with me. I will spare you the details, but it was a rough weekend. My original plan was to make my papaya fritters on Sunday night with my dear friend Mari, but my stomach had other plans. After a miserable day curled up in a ball on the couch, I couldn’t stomach the thought (no pun intended!) of eating anything remotely related to Asian food. Green Papaya fritters were out of the question.
So, then, I did what any other reasonable person would do when feeling ill: I went ahead and made fritters. I simply made a different kind of fritter. I needed a fritter that would be nice to my angry stomach; a fritter that was decidedly un-complicated; and a fritter that could be classified as ‘comfort food’. For me, that fritter was a classic cornmeal fritter — otherwise known as the “hush puppy“.
Since I didn’t have the energy to go to the store, my hush puppies were limited to what I had on hand. Thankfully, I had an interesting array of ingredients on hand and so I happily went about ‘inventing’ my version of this classic cornmeal fritter. In the end, I made Sweet Corn and Herb Hush Puppies with a Lemon Parsley Yogurt Sauce. They were everything I hoped for: simple to make, delicious to eat, and easy on the stomach. They may not be the fanciest fritters on the planet – but given the circumstances, I think they turned out rather well.
My fellow recipe swappers came up with some remarkable interpretations of the apple fritter. CM (Burwell General Store) made a “Trio of Truffle Fritters”, as she scored an amazing selection of truffles at her local farmers market. Toni (Boulder Locavore) decided to stay true to the apple portion of the original fritter recipe, and reinvented the fritter as Apple Pork Empanadas (and they’re gluten free!). I love that the 3 of us took a simple fritter recipe and ran in such different directions with it. Such is the beauty of a recipe swap!
So here’s to another successful swap. And even though life (aka my stomach) threw me a bit of a curveball this past weekend, I just had to roll with it. Sometimes culinary ‘accidents’ are the best kind! In this case, my haphazard, last-minute, illness-induced fritters were fabulous!
Sweet Corn & Herb Hush Puppies
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup white flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup milk
Black pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 small shallot, minced
1 baby sweet bell pepper, diced
1 small jalapeno, diced and seeds removed
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup corn kernels (I only had frozen corn on hand, as corn isn’t exactly in season right now. But if making this in the summertime, I could imagine that roasted corn would be delicious in this!)
1 tsp fresh thyme
Canola oil for frying
1. Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cayenne, sugar, pepper) together in a medium sized bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and the egg. Add corn, herbs, shallot, and peppers to the egg and milk mixture. Using a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, folding until completely combined. For best results, let this mixture sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before frying.
3. Next, heat 2-3 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed pan or skillet until it reaches 350 degrees.
4. Using a tablespoon to measure, drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil (I use a second spoon to scoop out the batter and keep its round shape). Fry until golden brown on all sides, turning every so often. Using a slotted spoon, remove from oil and transfer to paper towels. Let cool slightly, but they are best served warm! Serve with Lemon Parsley Yogurt Sauce.
Lemon Parsley Yogurt Sauce
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
A couple mint leaves
The juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Method: Combine all ingredients in a food processor until well blended. For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving. Serve with hush puppies (and a dash of hot sauce!).