Bill Granger is a chef who’s recipes seldom make my kitchen. Not to be misunderstood, I think the man has some deadly recipes, aspirational even, but there in lies the problem. One of them at least. A diet of salads and Chinese greens I haven’t heard of might work in Australia for those oudoorsy, healthy folk but here in Ireland a meal needs more substance. Usually something heavy and starchy. Second problem myself and Bill meet is the seafood emphasis. No-one actually likes seafood, people -including myself- just like the idea but the actualities of such things are much too fishy.
This is one of the few recipes that fall into the useful subset of tasty, familiar ingredients and not overwhelmingly healthy. Sweet corn fritters. I first made them many years ago when I went through the briefest of Asian cuisine phases. I only thought to make them now because husband has taken to eating fish once a week and although I can’t partake in the fish-eating I’m not about to make sides to go with more than one meal on any given day. So these fritter beasties go well with his salmon and my duck.
There is one slightly peculiar ingredient; rice flour. Now I’m sure you can buy such stuff in fancy supermarkets but I got mine in the Asian supermarket on Drury street. In my head, based on no empirical evidence, I feel it’s far better value and the packet is so cheery.
Finally, I am making Bill’s sweet chili sauce for dipping the fritters but if you have a life you can just buy some. Although, I must say it really takes very little effort and the taste is much cleaner. Up to yourself though.
Sweet chili sauce;
Red chili 1/2 – 1
Rice vinegar (or just regular white) 1/2 cup
Salt 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1/3 cup
Garlic 1 clove, crushed
Plain flour 1/2 cup
Rice flour 1/2 cup
Baking powder 1/4 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Ground coriander 1 teaspoon
Ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon
Egg 1 beaten slightly
Lemon juice 1 teaspoon
Water 1/2 cup
Sweetcorn 2 cups
Fresh coriander 3 tablespoons
Spring onions 4
If you are being a show off and making your own sweet chili sauce, do that first. Slice the chili into pretty pieces then put it in a small saucepan with the other ingredients. Pop the pan onto a medium high heat for about 2mins till the sugar dissolves, then turn it up to a boil and let it bubble away for 5mins till it starts getting nice and syrupy.
Do not think this sauce will be a jazzy orange colour with the consistency of honey because it won’t. It’s far waterier but way zingier. Also it’s almost entirely translucent.
For the fritters put the flours, baking powder, salt, ground coriander and cumin into a big mixing bowl then add the egg, lemon juice and water and beat till smooth and lovely.
Finely chop the fresh coriander and slice the spring onions into 2mm slices, cut at an angle. Add these chopped bits along with the sweetcorn to the batter. Now, Mr. Granger advises sheering the kernels of corn off fresh cobs but that was never going to happen. Tinned or frozen corn works just fine, if you’re using the frozen sort, however, it’d be best to take it out ahead of time to thaw a little or failing that level of preparation, put it in the microwave for a minute or so.
So that’s the fritter batter done.
Heat a large saucepan on a medium high heat. Pour in enough unflavoured oil (rapeseed, vegetable, etc.)to just coat the bottom of the pan. Spoon in generous flumps (approximately 1 dessertspoonful) of batter about 3cm apart. Let them sizzle away for 2-3mins until the underside is nice and brown. Don’t be at them the whole time though or you’ll make them ugly. Flip. And let them cook on the second side for another 2-3mins.
Remove the cooked deliciousnesses using a fish slice or the like and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper – to absorb the excess oil. Keep going till you’ve got sufficient fritters. Any left over batter will happily sit in the fridge for a day or so.
Now dip into the sweet chili sauce and bask in your own wonderfullness.