Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Corn and Clam Fritter Appetizers

We all have our own treasured appetizer recipes. The best are the ones that you know can be done quickly and can be prepped ahead of time. And if they also get consistent rave reviews from guests, you know you have a 'winner'. My Corn and Clam Fritters are one of my 'keepers'. I have served them to adults and even children. An eight year old once stalked me during an outdoor party I hosted as I served these fritters. Each time I turned around, there she was smiling, with a look of great expectation. When she told me — "they are quite delicious", I had to laugh. An eight year old!

These fritters can be enjoyed as a first course topped with some coarse guacamole, or grilled shrimp & chipotle mayonnaise, or anything else that pairs nicely with corn. You can use small cocktail shrimp or chopped scallops instead of the clams. If you have any guests with a seafood allergy, just omit the seafood altogether — these fritters are so versatile, you can add just about anything you want to! I serve mine as an hors d'oeuvre with a dollop of light lemon coriander sauce and garnished with lemon zest curls. And they are "quite delicious".

Corn and Clam Fritters

Dip Sauce:
1 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 tsp grated lemon peel, and more for garnish
1/2 garlic clove
1/8 tsp dried crushed pepper

1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 8 oz can clams, drained
1/2 cup corn kernels, or fresh cob corn
2 green onions, minced
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk

For dip sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 1 hour.

For fritters: Whisk all the dry ingredients then add the wet, buttermilk last, to form a stiff batter. Pour enough vegetable oil into a skillet to reach a depth of 1/8", topping up when necessary. Over medium heat, work in batches, dropping the batter in teaspoons into the oil. Cook until the fritters are golden brown, turning once, about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fritters to a rack. Serve warm with a dollop of lemon cilantro dip on top, and garnish with some lemon zest curls.

Makes 20 1-1/2"-2" fritters.