Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crisp Corn & Clam Fritters with Lemon Cilantro Sauce

We all have our favourite 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'. Garnished with a dollop of tangy Lemon Cilantro Sauce, they're the perfect accompaniment to any snazzy summer cocktail or chilled glass of wine. And they're so simple to make — all of the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and cayenne, are placed in a large bowl, followed by the wet: corn, green onions, an egg and buttermilk. The combined mixture is whisked together then dropped into a hot skillet and fried until the fritters are puffed and golden brown. If any guests have a seafood allergy, just leave out the clams altogether — these fritters are so versatile, you can add just about anything you want. I serve mine as an hors d'oeuvre with a dollop of light lemon coriander sauce and garnished with lemon zest curls — they disappear in the blink of an eye!

Corn & Clam Fritters
Makes about 30 appetizers

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
vegetable oil, for frying
1 lemon, zested for garnish

Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the wet, with the buttermilk at the end. Mix thoroughly to form a stiff batter. Cover and chill until required. 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.

Lemon Cilantro Sauce
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with corn fritters, and garnish with some lemon zest curls.