Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Cooking...Corn Fritters

As you may know, or I may have mentioned before, New Jersey is called the Garden State. Yes, I know, if your total knowledge of NJ is Newark Airport or the Turnpike, you may not understand that. But get away from the highways, especially down in the southern half and central part of the state, and you may see why. Where did the nickname come from?

Well, according to
"This nickname seems to have originated at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia on Jersey Day, August 24, 1876. Alfred M. Heston states in his 1926 work, Jersey Waggon Jaunts, that "The Garden State" was used by Abraham Browning, of Camden. "In his address Mr. Browning compared New Jersey to an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and the New Yorkers from the other. He called New Jersey the Garden State, and the name has clung to it ever since.
In later years, the explanation has evolved to reference New Jersey truck farms that provide floral and agricultural produce to cities in the area instead of an "immense barrel." These farms have catered, particularly, to the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas."
Our soil down here is sandy and rather acidic, which is actually a great medium for many crops. No tomato in the world beats a fresh Jersey tomato. None. Do not even try.
We produce excellent peaches and, even with our tiny size, we are the third largest producer of cranberries in the nation. It was in NJ that blueberries were first grown as a domestic crop and today we are the second largest producers of the tasty, vitamin rich fruit today..but when I think of summer and NJ crops, I think first of corn, lovely, sweet Jersey corn.

Now corn does not need much to be perfect. Drop in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Remove and slather with a bit of butter, salt..and my personal favorite...fresh black pepper.

But if you would like to try something a little more elaborate, I will share with you a favorite corn recipe my mother used to make, Corn Fritters. Now, we always had then with maple syrup, a wonderful side dish to something like ham. But you can twist the recipe a bit, adding some very finely minced onion, maybe a bit jalapeno pepper and make a savoy fritter, lovely served maybe with a fruit salsa. Of course, you can also add chopped clams and make clam corn fritters...but that is a whole different dish.
So, with no further ado...

Corn Fritters

3 cups oil for frying
3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup corn meal
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup corn

Heat oil to 365 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet in separate bowl then add to dry. Lastly add corn.
Drop by spoonful into oil and fry several minutes until golden brown.
Drain on a paper towel and serve.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Interesting history of why NJ is called the "garden state". I had no idea cranberries were grown there too. Sounds like a great recipe and one I might try soon.

  2. Oh yum....we'll anything corn in this household,and we both love the yellow/white corn that is special to our area. I make clam fritters too, but never thought about combining the two....DUH....and with some fresh tomato, basil caprezze salad....GF....we have a meal! Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. These seem easy enough. And they sound like a perfect snack.

  4. they made a nice

    In the Pinelands they grow a lot of cranberries, mostly for Oceanspray I believe.
    Chatsworth, the 'capital' of the Pinelands is home to a huge cranberry festival every fall.

  5. Yum! My grandmother used to serve these with syrup or molasses. Delicious!

  6. Absolutely, nothing in the world beats a Jersey tomato. They are the best. And fresh black pepper on corn on the cob is perfection.

    We didn't get any tomatoes or corn from our visit this week, which I'm kinda bummed about.

  7. Can you use another ingredient instead of corn meal?

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  8. Your fritters look so delicious. I could use a couple right now. I will agree with you on the taste of a fresh tomato but not on it's state of origin. Straight from the garden is the only way to eat tomatoes. Everything else is fake tomato.

  9. Nomnomnomnom! They'd make a nice change on my quest to find the perfect perkedel djagoeng (Indonesian corn fritters)!

  10. Marjorie, you can just use a cup of flour instead of the flour and corn meal.

    you can also use canned or frozen corn if you do not have fresh. in fact, if the fresh is not at it's peak, I would prefer frozen for this. but rinse and defrost them because if you add frozen corn to hot oil...not good!

  11. Corn fritters sound like a Southern dish! I can't imagine eating them with syrup.

  12. Living in the south, these are popular, but I think I've only tried them a restaurant. They were good, don't know why I never make them.

  13. Actually, I think my version is Penn.Dutch, as were many of the things my grandmother..and then my mother made. And they were always served with maple syrup.

  14. I love corn fritters and these sound delicious. I love them savory or sweet - depends on my mood. Interesting about why you're called the Garden State - I never knew any of that.

  15. Me love corn fritters!

    And thanks for helping out our fair state once again!

  16. Thanks for the bit of history. I didn't know the origin of the Garden State. I do love Jersey blueberries. And on the way to and from the shore (on small roads) we love to stop at fruit and veggie stands and buy all that lovely produce.

    I don't fry much, but the spicy version of these fritters sounds really good.


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