Tonight we went to pick our produce up from the CSA and when we got home I had to figure out what to do with the massive amounts of produce and the defrosted chicken fingers that as of 6:30 pm were residing in our fridge. The first thing that came to mind for the chicken was a Thai red curry. Afterall we had some Thai red curry paste in the fridge too. Not to mention all kinds of canned and fresh vegetables. To go with the Thai curry, we decided to make corn fritters. Luckily our old school Thai cookbook had a recipe that we could adapt. Somehow I always like the idea of curries more than I like the curries themselves. The same held true for our curry this evening. It was fine. But the corn fritters were by far the star of the evening. They were absolutely and astonishingly delicious. I have had a version of these corn fritters at a Thai restaurant here in NYC and I remember them being doughier (but still good). But these fritters consisted mostly of corn and more corn with very little filler - just like the very best crab cakes are mostly crab with very little filler. Sure there is a little all-purpose flour and two eggs to bind the fritters together, along with scallions, garlic, cilantro, and a chili for flavor. But the fritters are definitely all about the fresh, sweet and summery corn. Dipped in some store-bought sweet chili sauce these fritters were sweet, savory, and just a little spicy. Poor curry didn't even stand a chance.
Recipes after the jump!
Adapted from The Food and Cooking of Thailand
By Judy Bastyra and Becky Johnson
3 corn cobs, corn kernels sliced off with a sharp knife
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 dried Thai chilis, re-hydrated in hot water for 2-3 minutes, and minced
1 scallion, very thinly sliced on the bias
1 tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tbsp water
peanut or vegetable oil, for shallow frying
store-bought sweet chili sauce, for dipping
Place corn, garlic, cilantro, chilis, scallion, soy sauce, flour, eggs, and water in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Season with s&p. The batter should be moist, but not wet and should hold it's shape once placed on a hot pan.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough peanut oil to generously coat the bottom of the skillet. Once the oil is hot, you can start adding corn. Using an ice cream scoop, add scoops of corn mixture to the hot pan, spreading each one out with the back of the ice cream scoop to flatten it out and make a roundish fritter. The fritters should be approximately 1/2-inch thick. Cook fritters until golden brown, flipping once with a spatula, roughly 1-2 minutes per side.
Chicken Red Curry
3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 15 oz. cans coconut milk, separated
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders (or breasts), cut into bite size pieces
1 15 oz. can baby corn
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 15 oz. can oyster mushrooms
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup loosely packed basil (we used Italian basil, but if you have Thai basil use that instead)
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot (we used a Le Creuset) over medium heat. Add red curry paste and fry, stirring occasionally, until the curry paste is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add one can coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking to combine curry paste and coconut milk. Once the mixture reaches a boil, add the other can of coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and kaffir lime leaves. bring the mixture back to a gentle simmer and add chicken, baby corn, red onion, oyster mushrooms, and zucchini. Reduce heat to medium. Stir well and simmer for 10-15 minutes.