Manchego and corn fritters


  • Serves 8 people

  • 25 gm butter
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels only
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 60 gm Manchego, finely grated (see note)
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 100 gm (2/3 cup) plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with 100ml milk
  • 100 gm panko crumbs (see note)
  • Capsicum jam
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • 50 ml sherry vinegar
  • 3 red capsicum (about 800gm), seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • Béchamel
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 clove
  • 125 gm butter
  • 175 gm plain flour
01   For capsicum jam, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and stir occasionally until soft and just starting to colour (7-10 minutes). Add sugar and cook until starting to caramelise (5-7 minutes). Deglaze with vinegar, then add capsicum, and stir occasionally until jammy in consistency (1-1½ hours). Makes 1 cup and will keep in a sterilised jar in a refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
02   Meanwhile, for béchamel, combine milk, herbs, garlic and clove in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stand for 1 hour for flavours to infuse. Strain into a clean saucepan and warm over low heat (5 minutes). Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and stir until sandy in colour (2-3 minutes). Gradually add infused milk, a ladleful at a time, whisking after each addition to incorporate, then cook, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until thick and smooth (3-5 minutes). Set aside and keep warm.
03   Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add corn and onion, season to taste and cook until soft (10-12 minutes). Process two-thirds of corn mixture in a food processor until smooth, transfer to a bowl, add remaining corn mixture and Manchego, then stir through béchamel and season to taste. Spread on a tray and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
04   Heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180C. Roll heaped tablespoons of corn mixture into balls and place on a baking paper-lined tray. Place flour, egg mixture and crumbs in separate bowls. Dip balls into flour, then egg and then crumbs, shaking off excess. Deep-fry in batches until golden (2-3 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, season generously with sea salt and serve immediately with capsicum jam.
Note Manchego is a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese that is available from specialty cheese shops. Panko crumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs that are available from Asian stores and select supermarkets.







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