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Frittering Away the Summer

July 29, 1993|BEV BENNETT

Although corn is one of the simplest and best foods in the cornucopia of summer produce, there's more to an ear than meets the cob.

Once you get your fill of plain corn, use this seasonal vegetable as an ingredient in other dishes. Its fresh, sweet taste and crisp texture, bursting with juice, make it a marvelous addition to any number of recipes.

For example, prepare a garden pasta entree by simmering diced tomatoes, basil, sugar snap peas and corn kernels until the mixture is pulpy. Toss with hot cooked rotini and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese for a quick and delicious meal.

If there's any leftover corn from dinner, scrape it from the cob and add it to scrambled eggs the next morning. Add diced Cheddar cheese and a little salsa and you've got a feast. And if eggs are out, fold the corn into breakfast grits or corn bread.

And, if any of the above is too ordinary, prepare chorizo-corn fritters made with spicy Mexican sausage, shallot, corn and a pancake-like batter. Serve these fritters for brunch or dinner. In either case, finish the meal with nectarine-honey frozen yogurt. It's light, refreshing and especially good after the fritters.

CHORIZO-CORN FRITTERS 1/4 pound chorizo sausages 1 medium shallot, peeled and diced 1 ear corn, cooked 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Dash salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup milk or half and half Oil for frying Maple syrup or prepared salsa

Remove chorizo from casings and brown in skillet along with shallot until no pink color remains, crumbling chorizo with fork while it cooks. Pour off any fat.

Meanwhile remove kernels from ear of corn by holding paring knife at angle to corn and cutting downward. Add corn to skillet. Set aside to cool.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper to taste in bowl.

Stir together egg and milk in separate bowl. Stir chorizo mixture into milk mixture, then add to flour mixture. Stir to create batter. Do not beat.

Heat about 1/4 inch oil in large skillet. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons into hot oil. Cook over medium-high heat until browned on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. Drain fritters on paper towels. Serve hot with either maple syrup or salsa. Makes 8 to 10 fritters or 2 servings.

Note : Instead of chorizo, 1/4 pound spicy breakfast sausage may be substituted.

NECTARINE-HONEY FROZEN YOGURT 1 very sweet, large ripe nectarine or 2 small 1 cup plain yogurt 3 to 4 tablespoons honey 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Peel and pit nectarine. Cut into chunks. Puree in food processor or blender. There should be 1/2 cup puree. Place puree in bowl and stir in yogurt, 3 tablespoons honey and almond extract. Stir well. Taste and add remaining 1 tablespoon honey if necessary.

Process mixture in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions. Makes 2 servings.

Note : If nectarines are not sweet, substitute sweet peaches or plums.

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