In a very rare moment yesterday, my sweet tooth was really trying to get the better of me. We usually keep a stockpile of cookies from my previous job in the freezer, but my sister likes to eat my favorite double chocolate ones for breakfast…so alas, we were out! Even our refrigerator and cupboard were seriously lacking ingredients to conjure up something sweet. Time to improvise!
It’s funny how some of the random kitchen staples use the word sweet, i.e.- sweet cream butter, sweet yellow corn, sweet clover honey. Yeah, none of those are going to make my double chocolate cookies, but they have the potential to come together and make something amazing. I had to think outside the box and hop a few state lines back to good ol’ Texas. I swear, I draw so much inspiration from my roots. Thus, a sweet and savory dessert found its beginnings.
Think donut + elotes + sopapilla.
I really just meshed my recipes for corn and flour tortillas and my pie crust together to create something resembling a pastry dough. Once fried up, it was ever so sweet! For this particular recipe, I filled these fritters with a corn and tomato mixture,seasoned more on the savory side. At first my sister complained about the corn filling, but once she took a bite she quickly shut up. In all actuality, these would probably taste just fine without a filling, drizzled with some honey and maybe a sprinkling cinnamon sug. See churros and sopapillas. In the future I’d like to try out different fillings like jalapeno cream cheese, or chorizo and apple/pear (sounds weird but I bet it would be great!). Corn just seemed fitting since I was using maseca and sweet was right there, smack dab on the label.
Sweet & Savory Corn Fritters
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups maseca flour + 1 tbs for rolling
1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1 tbs for rolling
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp granulated sugar
5 tbs butter (sweet cream!) at room temperature
1-1/4 cups warm water
For the filling:
1 can of (sweet yellow!) corn, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, diced
savory seasoning to taste; I used cumin, s&p, chili powder, and cayenne pepper
vegetable oil for frying
honey for something extra
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients to make your dough. Using your hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it takes on a mealy appearance. You should be able to form a ball in your hand. Slowly add the warm water in increments of 1/4 cup. The final product should be slightly firm while slightly sticky. For your dough into 8 equal sized balls. Cover with a damp cloth until it’s time to roll out.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for your filling: corn, diced tomato, and seasonings to taste.
- Time to roll these babies out! Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with the leftover dry mixture: equal parts maseca and flour. Roll out a circular shape about 6-7″ in diameter and a thickness a bit more than a 1/4″. You just want to make sure it isn’t too thin, otherwise the filling may leak out! Spoon your filling right into the center!
- To fully form your fritter (alliteration!) fold the edges over the top and press down. This is a two hand job. form your fritters into a biscuit like shape. You may have to use some of the dry mix to keep everything in place. Oh yeah, it is totally okay if there are some cracks!
- Heat up your oil in a pan and fry these babies until they are golden on both sides. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and brush each fritter with honey. You can even sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt and sugar. I sure did!
- Note: I only baked these fritters for their second half of cooking because I knew ahead of time I did not have enough oil to do the deed. Bake your fritters at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Yeah, that did the trick! Let cool for 5 seconds and then drizzle with more honey if you’re feeling sweet, Cholula if you’re feeling saucy. Pick your poison!
Seriously, who needs a freezer burned cookie when you can have something just as sweet, if not -er and maybe a tiny but healthy? Oh yeah, and it’s got a little bit of spice on the inside! Ha, that kind of sounds like my personality!
Thank goodness for those Texan roots and the Mexican food mart in the Strip District. God knows where I’d be if I was unable to find that giant bag of masa mix!