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Mexican Street Corn Fritters

Elote flavor in a quick pan-fried fritter.

To know Mexican Street Corn (or elote) is to love it, but if you’re not familiar, here’s the rundown – fresh corn on the cob that’s been grilled just until charred and then smothered with a creamy mess of chili/cilantro/lime before being dusted with queso fresco. It’s basically heaven on a cob. This recipe takes that same combination and packs it into one amazing little fritter that is basically heaven in a pan-fried patty. They’re all at once sweet and zesty, crunchy and creamy and you’ll be wanting to eat them any chance you get.

While fresh corn is your best option here, canned or frozen work fine too. Just gather about two and a half cups of kernels and mix them into a loose cornmeal batter that’s seasoned with chili powder and lime juice and queso fresco.

Spoon the batter into a bit of hot oil in a pan and cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy. (The outsides are crunchy, but the insides are wonderfully moist and chewy.)

And then top each one with some sour cream that’s been dressed up with lime juice and cilantro and a little sprinkling of fresh corn kernels and more queso fresco.

That way you get a contrast between the crunch of the hot cooked corn fritter, the cool and creamy sauce, and the pop of cool fresh corn on top. That combination, that burst of sweet and juicy corn with plenty of creaminess and a little spice to back it up, is a combination as delicious as it gets.

Makes 32 fritters

5m prep time

10m cook time

For the fritters:
  • 2 1/2 cups corn kernels (about 4 ears fresh)
  • Juice of 1 lime, divided
  • 1 cup queso fresco, divided
  • 1/3 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the sour cream:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  1. In a small bowl, make the sour cream sauce. Stir together sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the corn, 1/4 cup of the queso fresco and 1 teaspoon of the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and half-and-half until well combined. Add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt and whisk until smooth. Add the green onion, remaining corn, lime juice queso fresco and stir to combine.
  4. Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place 8 spoonfuls of the batter in the pan - about 1 tablespoon each - flattening each one slightly. Cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook 2-3 minutes more. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  5. Working in batches, heat the remaining oil and cook remaining fritters.
  6. Serve topped with sour cream sauce and corn topping. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Foodie Physician.

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