I pride myself in wasting very little food through innovative leftovers. This week has been a major challenge for me in that department, but I think I’m rising to the occasion. I brought the dinner to a birthday party last weekend with my friends for a post-lake cookout. My (genius) idea was to do soft tacos. I cooked everything ahead of time and let my friends pick out their fillings by setting up buffet-style. Guests wrapped their tacos in aluminum foil while we fired up the grill to heat them up, and we enjoyed dinner in under 15 minutes from declaring that we were hungry. Low maintenance, easy cleanup, and everyone can have exactly what they want!
This post includes two recipes: the original (sauteed corn) and the Mexican-style corn fritter (which is what I did with the leftover sauteed corn).
The sauteed corn was one of the condiments available for the soft tacos – scattered over the base layer of either the chorizo and ground beef mixture, the vegan option (sweet potato, black bean, and spinach), the plain grilled chicken option (for the purists), or the sauteed chicken, bacon, zucchini, and onion filling (Husband’s favorite).
We came home with a little bit of almost everything leftover, which is why this week has been something of a challenge. I’ve been making all sorts of creative dishes featuring just enough leftovers to keep reducing the supply, but not so much that we get completely bored eating the same thing all the time.
The Mexican-style sauteed corn fritter is one of the better leftover recipes that came out of my waste-not, want-not week. It’s a golden brown, deep fried fritter that is perfectly gritty (cornmeal) but still nice and smooth (topped with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole).
There’s spice (a jalapeno) and fresh veggie flavor (corn, bell pepper, and cilantro). I served the fritters on their own (there was no way we could wait before digging in), but if your family has some restraint, these would be great topped with a bit of bacon and a poached egg for brunch.
Mexican-Style Sauteed Corn Fritter
Yields 4-5 large corn fritters
For the corn fritter, you will need:
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1/3 cup all-purpose white flour
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. parsley
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- dash cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 tsp. hot sauce (to taste)
- 1 3/4 cup sauteed corn (recipe below)
- 2 tbsp. canola oil or olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Corn fritter method:
- Stir together cornmeal, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Whisk egg lightly and fold in. Stir in cayenne pepper, parsley, milk, melted butter, hot sauce, and green onions. Add sauteed corn (see recipe below) and mix.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Drop 1/3 cup batter into the oil. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from eat and add a pinch of salt and pepper to each fritter.
- Serve hot.
For the sauteed corn, you will need:
- 2 cans yellow corn (low sodium, if available), drained
- 2/3 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 jalapeno (adjust to spice preference), seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sauteed corn method:
- Heat a large skillet to medium. Add olive oil, garlic, and onion. Cook for two minutes, until onion becomes fragrant.
- Add corn, bell pepper, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, then add jalapeno. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When corn appears slightly toasted, remove from heat. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in cilantro.
- Serve on tacos, stir into guacamole, and on the side or as a topping to other Mexican dishes.