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Archive for the ‘USA Southern Style’ Category

This recipe evolved from some experimentation when I wanted to make some corn fritters to serve with Chicken Gumbo, although it was not difficult to work out a satisfactory recipe.  I wanted a fritter that involved shallow frying using a minimum of oil, rather than a calorie laden deep fried version.  (I do not own a deep fat fryer.)  After a little experimentation, this is the recipe I came up with, using my basic batter recipe as used for Yorkshire puddings.  It is very simple to make and can be eaten in place of, or as well as, rice.  Cayenne pepper, adjusted to suit your taste, gives a spicy ‘kick’ to the fritter.  If you want something hotter, try using de-seeded and finely diced chilli peppers in place of the Cayenne.

Sweetcorn pancakes/fritters can be found in both Caribbean and Southern USA cuisine, so I often serve the pancake fritters as a side dish with Chicken Gumbo or Hyacinth’s Salt Fish Cakes and alongside Fried Plantain, which is added towards the end of the cooking time using the same pan. Alternatively the plantain could be diced and added to the fritter mixture. More ideas on how to vary the dish to eat at other meals are given after the recipe. 

100_4136 Sweetcorn Pancake Fritters

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Sweetcorn Pancake Fritters
(Makes 8-12 fritters, depending on size)

A 1 egg quantity of batter mixture, as used for Yorkshire pudding
1 or 2 finely chopped spring onions, both white and green parts
1 400g tin of sweetcorn, drained
Salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper to taste
Sunflower oil to shallow fry

1.  Make the batter mixture and beat well.  If made ahead of time store in the fridge without adding the other ingredients.

2.  When you are ready to cook the fritters, beat the mixture well again and add the spring onions, corn and seasonings.

3.  Heat the oil and spoon in 1½ to 2 tbsp per fritter, cooking several fritters at one time, depending on the size of your pan. It is better to have thinner smaller fritters which cook through to the centre. Use a medium heat, flattening each with a spatula. Avoid turning the fritters over too quickly, but when a fritter is golden on one side flip it and brown the second side. Watch carefully as they can burn quickly.

4. Absorb excess oil by placing each batch between layers of kitchen paper and keep warm until needed.

5. Serve as an accompaniment to a Southern USA or Caribbean Style dish, alongside rice and shallow fried plantain, or with a boiled ham or gammon joint. 

They would also be good served alongside some crispy bacon and/or eggs and grilled tomato as part of a brunch breakfast. 

Vegetarian Variation: Add grated cheese and pre-cooked potato, parsnip or sweet potato and eat these fritters as part of a vegetarian lunch.

They could also be eaten cold as part of a picnic in the original or cheesy vegetarian version.

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Gumbo is a dish from the southern states of the USA, in particular Louisiana. When I first started to collect recipes I pasted or copied them into a file and about twenty years ago I wrote down a recipe for Chicken Gumbo featured on the BBC Food & Drink programme, which I made not long after.   It can also be made with seafood, in particular shrimp.

Chicken (or Turkey) Gumbo has since become a regular family favourite, especially as it is fairly quick and easy to make.  The original recipe, which I think was a basic ‘no frills’ version, has been slightly adapted down the years, augmented with extra ingredients as I have come across variations in different recipe books. My recipe is probably not absolutely authentic, I know, but we like it!  Broadly, however, it  remains the same: sometimes using chicken and sometimes using turkey, but always using okra, making sure I do not over cook it.  We like our okra slightly crisp, with the sticky juices just starting to seep out to thicken the stew: some versions of gumbo are thickened in other ways.  Using diced chicken breast meat is a quick cook version and it should not be overcooked as it will toughen.  Chicken thighs, as in my original recipe, are a cheaper alternative and will benefit from a longer and slower cooking.  Sometimes smoked pork sausage is used in authentic gumbo recipes.  If you wish, some sliced or diced sausage can be added at the same time and in place of some of the chicken.  I serve my Gumbo with warm corn bread or with rice and sweetcorn or corn fritters.

100_4159  Chicken-Turkey Gumbo
‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’ http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Chicken Gumbo
(Serves 4)

1tbsp olive oil
1 large Onion, halved and finely sliced
1 large clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
4ozs button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
½tsp mixed herbs
¼tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
500g/1lb skinned chicken breasts, in large bite sized pieces or boned chicken thighs, left whole
400g/14oz tin of plum tomatoes
150ml/¼pt water, more if necessary
large pinch of sugar
1 large Green Pepper, sliced
125g/4ozs Okra, stem ends removed and cut into ½inch/2cm lengths.
Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Gently fry the onion, garlic, celery and mushroom for 5-10minutes but do not let it brown. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them so they start to colour. Put on the pan lid and cook on a medium heat for 5-10minutes. Stir in the mixed herbs and chilli powder/cayenne pepper.

2. Chop the contents of the tin of tomatoes and add to the pan with the sugar and water. Stew gently for another 10minutes for chicken breast pieces and 15-20minutes  for chicken thighs. If the mixture starts to dry out then add a little more water.

3. Mix in the green pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.

4. Finally, 10-15 minutes before serving the gumbo, add the okra pieces, stir well and cook over a medium heat until the juices start to thicken the stew.  Season to taste.  We like our okra when it is still an attractive green colour and retaining some crispness and it needs to be checked regularly as it overcooks very quickly.  Once it is cooked the gumbo needs to be served immediately as it will continue to cook in the pan.

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