Monday, 18 October 2010

Corngate: The Corn Salsa File

Maybe Australians can’t take credit for inventing corn fritters, but they feel as quintessentially Australian as avocado and vegemite on toast.

My love affair with corn fritters started in Melbourne where some of my favourite cafes did excellent versions of this Australian café classic;


Small Block Cafe in East Brunswick

Mart 130 Cafe on the tram line in Middle Park

When I opened Lantana it went without saying that corn fritters were going on the menu and we did a lot of experimenting to find the perfect fritter recipe- spicy, crispy edges, not too fluffy, and of course, lots of fresh corn.

In the early days some of our English customers needed a little gentle encouragement (along the lines of ‘for God’s sake try something instead of the bacon sandwich’) but once they tried corn fritters, they were hooked. So much so that I seem to have created an international scandal when I did the unthinkable recently and CHANGED THE MENU without proper public consultation.

I didn’t do anything as drastic as remove corn fritters from the menu. All I did was change the topping from corn salsa and lime aioli to sweet chilli jam and crème fraiche. Little did I know that Matt, one of our most loyal (English) regulars, sees little point in living if he can’t have corn salsa on his corn fritters. He has almost boycotted Lantana since the controversial ‘menu change’ but comes in every now and again to see whether I’ve changed the menu back. When I tell him no, he leaves crestfallen with a takeaway slice of banana bread. This is a man who took a year to be weened off bacon sandwiches in the first place but hard as I try, I can’t convince him to try the new corn fritter dish.....yet.

As a concession to Matt I promised to release the corn salsa file so that he doesn’t have to break into Lantana overnight, as threatened, to steal it.


Fresh corn salsa (No longer on Lantana's menu)

6 Corn cobs with outer husks removed
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 bunch of corriander (washed and chopped)

Cook the corn on a lightly oiled chargrill or frypan to get some colour and then transfer to a 200C oven for 15 minutes.

Once cool enough to handle cut the corn off the cobs. Mix the corn with all the other ingredients.

49 comments:

Gregory said...

In 94-95 I can recall having bacon and corn fritters at Bills (Darlinghurst Sydney).... and it was fantastic. that said I am tired of seeing his mug on the telly.

Prior to that, I hadn't really seen it anywhere else.

Despite tracking your blog I really must drop in for my Oz cafe fix.

Scrambling Eggs said...

Ah yes, Mr Granger and corn fritters are synonomous. I've never had his myself but I'm sure they're good.

Say hi if you drop in.

Gregory said...

Just read this very coincidental link in the Sydney Morning Herald

see #14

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-and-bars/the-50-things-every-sydney-food-lover-should-try-20101021-16uyb.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how I found this blog - but I came home drunk on Friday night and then there it was bookmarked when I awoke Saturday so today I went to Lantana for the first time to have the fritters.

They were fantastic and certainly worth the trip across town. First fritters I've had since I left university

Anonymous said...

I've had Bill Granger's corn fritters and yours are better!

Basil said...

Hey,

Can't find a contact for you on the blog, so thought I'd use the comments section instead...

I'm putting together a food fanzine, and wanted to get nice people who write blogs to contribute a little piece about what they're into / excited about / looking forward to / etc over autumn-winter.

Be great if you could help... get in touch for full details - nbalfe@gmail.com

Thanks!

thosethateat.blogspot.com

p.s. nice post - reminds me of a breakfast I once had at Three Eggs in North Bondi, after driving all night from Byron Bay. Good times!

Anonymous said...

thank you great post

all the best Glenn

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Tim said...

Hello! Like other commenters, it seems, I'm using the blog to contact you in lieu of a contacts page on your website.
I'm lucky enough to live just around the corner from Lantana, and I'm a big fan. I'm also the editor of TubeHotels.com, and wanted to talk to you about recommending Lantana on our website as a great place to get breakfast in Fitzrovia. If you're interested, please contact me at timh@tubehotels.com.
Many thanks,
Tim.

Christmas Sweets said...

Ahh fritters. The quintessential breakfast just parallel with pancakes. Potato is the way for me though.

Ann said...

Your corn fritters are amazing. I think it was the best meal I had on my 2 weeks business trip (and I ate some serious good food). I wish I could find something similar in NYC...drool...can I get the recipe? :)

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