JP McMahon: Corn dominated my childhood in some way or another

When making sweetcorn fritters with avocado you can use tinned, frozen or fresh corn

Though corn is a grain and a type of maize, sweetcorn is picked when young, called the milk stage, and used as a vegetable

Though corn is a grain and a type of maize, sweetcorn is picked when young, called the milk stage, and used as a vegetable

 

Growing up on tinned sweetcorn in the early 1980s – my mother always put it in the shepherd’s pie – I was amazed to find corn on the cob in the local Superquinn in Maynooth sometime later. Corn seemed to dominate my childhood in some way or another, perhaps its use on those do-it-yourself Superquinn pizzas was the apogee of my early years.

Though corn is a grain and a type of maize, sweetcorn is picked when young, called the milk stage, and used as a vegetable. Sweetcorn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, before the kernels become tough and starchy. Hence its appearance on the cob in supermarkets for only brief periods. Spreading garlic and parsley butter on those cobs in my teenage years, securing those little yellow twin prong holders, I felt like Escoffier, ready to serve a party of affluent Parisians – except it was only my family (or a few of them as some hated sweetcorn). Indeed, I recall my youngest brother, Alex, taking a particular dislike to sweetcorn, so much so that he would pick it out of the shepherd’s pie, one kernel at a time.

Sweetcorn fritters with avocado

The great thing about making sweetcorn fritters is you can use tinned, frozen or fresh corn. Tinned or frozen are easier as the shelf life is much longer, giving you the freedom to make these fritters whenever you want.

In a bowl, combine 50g of flour with one beaten egg, 200g of sweetcorn, one diced red onion, and a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Mix thoroughly and then add a smashed avocado and the juice of one lime. Lastly, fold in a small handful of chopped coriander.

Heat some oil in a frying pan. Dust your hands with a little flour and drop large balls of the corn mixture into the frying pan, smoothing them down to form cakes. Cook for about two to three minutes on each side over a medium heat, adding the remaining oil if you need to. You can serve the fritters by themselves or with some more avocado, or even a little fried streaky bacon.

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