Favorite food locations; damn good corn fritters

Greece Trip 2002
Watching the Paris photos over at Stacey’s Snacks has made me think about memorable food in far off places. I had only traveled around the US before I met Lisl, but marrying an Australian comes with a substantial increase of global travel. It seems to be part of the contract, but there are worse trades! I’m convinced that at any point in time at least 10% of the total Aussie population is overseas. While we’ve certainly had great meals all over the place (mussels in Bruges and some of the gastropubs in the English countryside outside of London come to mind), my personal top food locations are Greece and Italy.

In Greece, Lisl dragged me a little island called Serifos in the Cyclades. We had a friend that knew all the locals, so we got to experience the “authentic” restaurants rather than the fancy tourist places. In Italy, Lisl has so far “dragged”me (yeah, twist my arm) to Rome and the Cinque Terre. In Rome, we would wander around the streets and eventually see it – the place we *had* to have dinner that night. In both Greece and Italy, the produce was so fresh and the treatment brilliant and not over-complicated.

Where are your favorite food locations?

All this came back last night when we had a fabulous meal at the Greek restaurant Peryali in Manhattan, an old favorite. Speaking of Australians, the night before last I tried out an Aussie recipe for corn fritters that flat out rocked. It came by way of an old post from The Wednesday Chef and discovered through foodblogsearch.

corn fritter cooking

Paranoid me is going to post the ingredients here, on the off-chance that Wednesday Chef ever decides to take down her blog (I hope not but this is so good that I am resorting to a “backup”). To read about the process, please head over to her blog.

corn fritter sauce
The dipping sauce

We had most of what the recipe called for, however we were out of scallions and cilantro (dammit!) and so swapped in shallots. I also only had 1/4 cup rice vinegar for the dipping sauce, so made up the difference with apple vinegar (it was still very good). The only change that I made voluntarily was to the batter, where I only used 1/4 cup of water and added 1/4 cup of beer (I love beer batters!).

Munchkin was a very good helper.

kitchen helper

The fritters were served with swiss chard, with the leaves and stems chopped separately and sauted with a chopped onion in a couple tbsp of olive oil. I spotted this in Alice Waters’ Art of Simple Food. Start by cooking the chopped chard stems for several minutes, then add the onion for several minutes, then the chopped leaves. Salt to taste (adding the right amount of salt is critical).

Ingredients for Corn Fritters

Dipping Sauce
1 red jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 small clove garlic, minced

1 cup flour (or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup rice flour)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2 cups corn kernels, cut from 3 large cobs
4 spring onions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

corn fritter plated