Do you ever look at a food and wonder who in the world sat and said “Let’s put these ingredients together and see if they taste good”? I could see this fritter evolving: someone made hush puppies, the original cornmeal-based balls of goodness usually served with fried fish. Then they decided to add whole kernel corn to the mix for texture and that tasted pretty darn good. Next a smart soul said “But Fritos are ground corn fried into chips, we could crush a few and add them to the mix!” Thus was born the best glorified hush puppy EVER.
Fritter Friday! I always look forward to Friday and to fritters, but for completely different reasons. Friday means I’m going to have the next three days off until I go back to the office. Fritters are deliciously fried patties or balls of goodness, usually involving a vegetable or vegetables. Today’s fritters involved corn, and Fritos. These were so good I would make them every day if it didn’t mean I’d have to LIVE on my treadmill!
The fritters were super easy to mix up, fry up, and devour. I was visiting my sister, Linda, and she’s a Fritos fan too. She gasped when I suggested making them and so Fritos Fritters became our new guilty pleasure. It’s probably a good thing that making them requires filling and heating a deep fryer with oil, otherwise I’d be making them way too often.
The recipe was simple: throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. We doubled our recipe, but thought it was a bit too wet. The directions said to roll them into balls with our hands and they just wouldn’t stay in balls, they were so wet. We added another ¼ cup of flour and they were perfect. I noted that in the recipe, but reduced the amount to 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) for the single batch the recipe makes. If you double the recipe like we did, use the ¼ cup amount.
We didn’t roll them into balls; instead I used a cookie scoop and filled the scoop slightly over the edges, then used my hand to make the top smooth before I ejected the ball into the deep fryer. I made 4 or 5 fritters at a time. Using a smaller deep fryer, I didn’t want to overcrowd them or bring the temperature down with too many fritters at once.
The frying time will vary based on the heat of your fryer. I found when the fritters were floating and the bubbling had slowed, they were done. I split one open and it was slightly moist in the middle and crispy on the outside. Perfect! They will continue to cook for a while after removing them from the oil, so don’t let them get overcooked.
The fritters are good served warm or at room temp. You might want to put them into an oven set on low to keep warm if you prefer them that way. We thought they were great warm, room temp, room temp hours later, and even the next morning. After that, they were just sort of dry and not so good, like an aged donut.
Although it seems like these should be fairly cheesy, with the amount of cheese in the recipe, the cheese really doesn’t come through very front and center. I might try adding more next time to see if I can make them cheesier, but like I said, they were great as listed in the recipe.
1 cup kernel corn
1/2 cup sharp cheddar; shredded
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Fritos; coarsely crushed
1/4 cup flour (may need 2 tablespoons more if too wet still)
3/4 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup half and half, 1/4 cup milk)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Oil for frying (I used Canola)
Mix all ingredients together. Add the extra flour if still wet.
Roll into balls with hands or use a cookie scoop.
Heat oil several inches deep in saucepan or deep fryer. Drop 4 or 5 fritters at a time into the oil. Fry until the float and bubbling slows. Drain on paper toweling and keep warm in oven if desired.
makes approx. 14
Adapted from Oh Bite It