Corn Fritters (Torrejas de Maiz)
In Panama, there are two delicious dishes that we make using the corn on the cob (aka new corn). They are corn cakes/fritters (torrejas de maiz), and corn medallions called bollos, which are also inherited from our indigenous ancestors. They are consumed mainly during weekend breakfast or brunch. Bollos are eaten either alone or accompanied with white cheese, stewed hot dogs, or with pork rinds (chicharrón).
- 4 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob, and divided into two
- Canola oil for frying
- 68 grams (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) cornstarch
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 1.3 grams (1/4 teaspoon) black pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Process half (2 ears) of the corn kernels in a food processor or blender, 15 to 20 seconds, to make a coarse puree. Transfer the puree corn to a dry 30 cm (12-inch) nonstick skillet (no oil). Cook over medium heat until the puree is the consistency of thick oatmeal (clinging to spatula rather than dripping off), about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. Rinse the skillet and dry. Add 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining half corn kernels and 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) salt, and cook until light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the pureed corn.
3. Stir in flour, cornstarch, sugar, 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt, and pepper into cool corn mixture until well combined. Gently stir in egg until well incorporated.
4. Add 237 ml (1 cup) oil to skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Drop six 30 ml (2-tablespoon) portions batter into skillet. Press with spatula to flatten into disks. Fry until deep golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to a plate with paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter and serve immediately.