Adapted from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors, these crispy fritters are loaded with corn. They have great flavor thanks to lots of herbs, scallions, and Cheddar.
Cheese: Madison recommends sharp, aged Cheddar, and I'm so glad I used it: It browns so beautifully and makes a nice, crisp exterior. Other cheeses she recommends include goat, feta, Swiss, Gouda, and Jack.
Corn: I find it easy to cut each cob in half, to stand each half cut side down, then to slice down to remove the kernels.
Herbs: The original recipe called for a mix of 1/2 cup parsley and 2 tablespoons of basil or dill, so use what you like.
The batter can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge. Be sure to give it a good stir before frying. —Alexandra Stafford
6 as a light supper or appetizer (25 to 30 small fritters)
to 4 eggs
scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro or more to taste
grated (or small diced) sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
ears of corn, shucked
sea salt, to taste
or more grinds of freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Slice the tops of the kernels off the corn, then reverse your knife and press out the milk. (You should have about 3 cups of kernels. Don't stress out too much about this step—if you cut too deeply and don't extract that much "milk," it's no big deal. Also, the blade of the knife might work better than the back, so try both ways.)
Transfer the kernels and milk to a large bowl. Crack in 2 of the eggs. Add the scallions, cilantro, or other herbs, cheese, corn kernels and, and 1/3 cup of the flour. Season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together very well. Grab a golfball-sized amount of batter and squeeze it in your hands. If it barely holds together, crack another egg into the bowl, and add another 1/3 cup flour. Mix well, and test again—batter will not hold together the way a meatball will; it will be kind of pasty, and the only way to know if it’s ready for frying is to make a test fritter. See step 3.
Make a test fritter: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, pour 1 tablespoon of the oil. Lightly oil your hands. When the oil in the pan begins shimmering, pinch a golfball-sized amount of batter out of the bowl and carefully drop it into the oil. Reduce the heat to medium. The mound of batter will look pyramidal or gumdrop-like in shape. Gently flatten with a spatula. After about a minute, check the underside to ensure it is lightly browned. Flip the fritter, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until evenly golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, season with sea salt, and let cool briefly. Taste. If fritter needs more salt or pepper, add more to the bowl. If the fritter did not stay together at all, crack another egg into the bowl of batter and add 1/3 cup more flour. Mix well.
When fritter batter is cooperating, fry up the remaining batter in the same manner as the tester fritter, adding a thin layer of oil to the pan with each batch. Warning: Be careful of exploding corn kernels—every so often, one comes flying out of the pan.