Okra-Corn Fritters by cucinagirl

2 fresh ears of corn (or 1 cup frozen, in a pinch) 
3 cups thinly sliced okra 
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup) 
2/3 cup finely ground corn meal 
1/2 cup flour 
1 3/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 egg 
freshly ground black pepper 
oil for frying


Peel husks and silks from the corn and discard.  Remove the kernels from the ears by standing the ear vertically on a large cutting board and carefully running a sharp knife down the length of the ear until all kernels have been removed.  Set kernels aside.  Extract remaining corn from ears by running a spoon down each ear until all is removed.  This should yield about 3-4 tablespoons between the two ears.  Set corn “pulp” aside.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Add corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup of corn cooking water; then drain blanched kernels in a fine mesh strainer.

In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and baking powder.

Whisk together egg, 2/3 cup cooking water, and corn pulp.  Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients just until combined.  It should be the consistency of a thick cake batter.  Add a little more cooking water if batter seems too dry.

Toss okra, corn, and onions in remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and several grinds of black pepper.  Fold vegetables into cornmeal mixture.  
 
Preheat oven to 175°F.

Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a cast iron skillet(or other heavy pan) over medium-high heat.  Adjust heat to maintain a temperature between 340°and 350°F.  (Use a candy thermometer to monitor temperature.) 

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter one at a time into hot oil.* (I used a 1-oz./#30 cookie scoop and flattened the fritters slightly with the back of the scoop.)  
 
When the fritters are well browned on the underside (about 3-4 minutes), carefully turn them over and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Remove cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in oven until ready to serve. 
 
*I’m not a very experienced at stovetop deep- (or not-so-deep-)frying. (We always had a dedicated appliance for that.)  Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I had a little trouble with oil splattering up at me without warning.  (I have hot oil to thank for a new – thankfully tiny – burn on my arm.)  I highly recommend using a splatter screen if you have it.