This is an unusual week at food52. Merrill will be in Maine getting married! So we’re running a special contest, with two Brooklyn chefs going head-to-head with their corn recipes. We’ll still be naming Editors’ Picks and we’re psyched to see your finest corn pudding, corn salad, succotash, corncakes, what have you. Stay tuned for the naming of the chefs!
More about our contests»
Because this is a chef's recipe, the batter ingredients are all measured out by weight for super-precision.
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Both cornmeal and white flour go into the batter -- make sure to get finely ground cornmeal.
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We even weighed the water! Here's a tip, though: 1 gram of water equals 1 milliliter.
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Fresh yeast, which Andrew generously provided so Merrill could test this recipe on her own. It's worth seeking out fresh yeast if you can.
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The yeast gets mixed with lukewarm water (not too hot, not too cold -- just like Goldilocks).
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Into the yeast and water go the dry ingredients.
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The batter thickens up and then needs to rest in a warm place for at least an hour.
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Meanwhile, it's time to remove raw corn kernels from the cob in preparation for roasting.
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A little olive oil and some salt and pepper are all that's needed.
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Make sure to spread out the corn as much as possible, so that it doesn't steam rather than roast.
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While the corn is in the oven, Merrill cuts the pancetta into "lardons." Basically, any kind of small chunk or strip will do.
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A quick sauté over low heat (you don't want too much color or crispness), and the pancetta is ready.
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Green wax peppers are beautiful and pale and have a lovely, mild heat.
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Corn, chiles and pancetta get folded into the batter -- no need to be overly gentle, as you want everything evenly distributed.
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With the oil at 350 degrees, the batter goes in by rounded tablespoonfuls. If you have a splatter screen, use it. If you have an apron, wear it. And stand back, as every once in a while something may pop out at you.
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But it's SOOO worth it.
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A watched pot, and all that.
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One of Andrew's tricks is to let the cooked zeppole sit in a warm place for 10 minutes, which gives the still-moist centers time to cook through. If you need to, you can pop them into a warm oven to reheat them just before serving.
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A quick sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a couple of lemon wedges, and they're all set to go!
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