By guest chef, Cathi DiCocco
Cathi grew up cooking in her fathers Italian restaurant in upstate NY. She is a hidden gem we found in the Maine woods. If you’re ever in Bethel, Maine, stop and visit Cathi’s restaurant and market
Delicious and easy to prepare these tasty little fritters are perfect for stress free holiday entertaining. With a perfect balance of sweet maple and savory herbs it’s hard to resist eating them right out of the pan with a dollop of tart cranberry sauce! This recipe yields about twenty medium fritters, can easily be doubled for larger gatherings and they make absolutely fabulous leftovers.
1 ¼ cup medium grind organic cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
Few grinds of black pepper
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/3 cup white beans (great northern or cannellini) cooked
½ cup corn (fresh or frozen) cooked
¼ cup scallions, white and green parts
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh
¼ to ½ dried marjoram
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or ½ to 1 teaspoon dry)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup rice milk (soy or almond ) more if needed
¼-1/2 cup vegetable oil
In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Fold in the beans, corn and quinoa. Next add the scallions, thyme, marjoram, basil and sage. Mix well. Add the syrup and half the rice milk. Begin mixing the ingredients into a stiff moist batter. These will need to retain their shape, so be sure not to have the mixture too thin. Taste for seasoning.
Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil reaches 360 degrees it’s ready or check by dropping a little batter into the pan. The mixture should almost float. Use a ¼ cup measure per fritter, or a heaping tablespoon for snack size fritters. Fry each side until golden brown and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.
*If you’re cooking ahead of time and wish to keep the fritters warm preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Place blotted fritters onto a baking sheet and set in the oven until you’re ready to serve.