Corn Oysters

Did I ever Tell You…?

When I was a kid, I loved these yummy fried balls of corn. It is one of my all time favorite recipes.

When my mom made these, they had more air, and looked like the recipe was mostly egg whites and a little flour. But they were, and still are delicious. Although I tried to find a recipe, nothing was quite the same as the corn poppers that Mom made us.

I found a recipe for corn fritters, and made those as often as I could, but it still wasn’t an good version. It was very tasty, but there’s something about making the food your mom made.
So I tried a couple of times to make the recipe into a video, and on one try I had a happy accident – too much flour! And with gluten free flour, it can become quite the mess. Instead of trying to fix it with more liquid, I decided to go ahead and make the fritters, but they ended up more like a fried oyster.

There is a history to this vegetable dish. I assumed that the first recipes were written in the 1960’s but it appears that I was wrong. I have several vintage cookbooks, so I started combing through to find a starting point. And I did. On page 105 of The New England Yankee Cookbook by Imogene Wolcott, I found the recipe! This was published in 1939, and recipe was close to my accident, although not gluten free. So far, this is the earliest of the recipes that I’ve located. But on Yesterdish, I found a recipe that would result in the oyster from my childhood memories, and it was ‘discovered’ around 1955. Check out Yesterdish for a great database of vintage recipes!

Corn Oysters

3- 4 ears fresh corn on the cob OR

1 pound frozen corn, thawed but not cooked

1 large egg

1 cup butter milk

¾ cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

 ½ teaspoon black pepper

½  teaspoon cayenne

¼ cup diced onion

¼ cup roasted Hatch or Anaheim pepper seeded and diced

24 ounces cooking oil for frying vegetable oil

Cut the corn from the cobs, scrape the cobs with the back of a knife to remove milk and starch.  Split the corn into two bowls and set one aside.  Add egg, butter milk, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and cayenne to the bowl and stir to combine.  Using either an immersion blender or a blender, puree the mixture until mostly smooth.  Add the reserved corn.  Add the peppers, onion, and mushrooms, and stir to combine.  Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.  Pour the oil into a 5 quart pot (don’t use non-stick) and heat to 325 to 350 degrees.  Using a scoop, drop the corn batter into the oil about 4 at a time.  Don’t crowd the pot.  When the fritters are golden crown, place on a sheet pan with a cooling rack inverted over a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.  Place in a 250-degree oven to hold. Serve alone or with a sauce of your choice.  Makes about 30 fritters.

Oil Saving Tip: To save the oil, cool completely and strain into a clean glass jar.  Add a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to six months.  The oil can be re-used three to four times, if strained after each use.