Sweetcorn is here
August is peak market time in Minnesota. Since Spring, there has been a teasingly gradual roll-out of my favorite vegetables and fruits, starting with radishes and rhubarb, moving to asparagus and raspberries, then finally, tomatoes, sweet corn, and melons. This is the one month when the maximum bounty of locally grown goodness is piled high at the farmer’s market. It’s tradition at my house to make meals of sweetcorn and watermelon, and not much else.
Call it the cook’s holiday.
Sweetcorn is versatile
In between feasting on simply boiled or grilled corn, I also occasionally cook with it. The same crisp, sweet kernels that are so easy to devour off the cob are a delightful addition to soups, salads, stir-fries, and little croquettes like this one.
(Here are a few other recipes for sweetcorn from the past)
Sweetcorn Croquettes are frugal food
The croquette is the original no-waste recipe. Using up leftover bits of cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, and herbs to make crispy little bites is an old-school French idea. I’m sure they weren’t the first to smash some leftovers together and make them into little patties, either. Little savory cakes are popular in many cuisines, as well as the home kitchens of people everywhere.
In these croquettes, I won’t assume that you have mashed potatoes languishing in the fridge. People don’t think of mashed potatoes as a weekly staple anymore, and it’s summer, when we are more into potato salad than mash. The potatoes are great at the market, though, so you can boil and mash some, and get real, true potato flavor. You wouldn’t want to make this recipe with mashed potatoes that have had milks and fats added, because these rely on firm, plain mashed potatoes.
You may have cooked too may ears of corn on Monday, but don’t let it go to waste.You can use those two leftover boiled or grilled cobs of corn. Just cut the kernels off. I used raw corn, which stayed crunchy. Both are delicious.
The potatoes alone will bind the cakes, instead of eggs or flour. They are tender and a little delicate because of it. Be sure to chill the mixture before frying, so they will hold together.
Because it’s August, I went with handfuls of fresh basil in the cakes and in the sauce. Keep it simple, just stir basil into your fave mayo from a jar, and voila, a sauce.
Sweet corn is one of the joys of the summer, and these croquettes are a basil-laced, crispy bite that shows off that precious corn flavor.
Give your sweetcorn a little zazz with this croquette recipe, and your family will thank you!
Potato and Sweetcorn Croquettes
- 1 pound Yukon Gold or other waxy potato
- 2 medium ears of corn kernels removed
- 1 cup fresh basil divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup panko
- oil for frying
- 1/2 cup avocado mayonnaise
- Boil the potatoes in their skins until very tender, then drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and mash or put through a potato ricer. Put in a large bowl and let cool completely.
- Set up a large skillet and a large plate lined with a double layer of paper towels for draining the croquettes.
- To the potatoes, add the salt, corn kernels, and half of the basil. Stir to mix well. Form 1/4 cup portions, shape into patties, and coat with panko. Place on a plate and chill for at least an hour, or until time to cook.
- Place the large skillet over medium-high heat and let heat for a few seconds, then pour in oil to 1/4-inch deep. Let the oil heat to a "shimmer" and place one croquette in the pan. If it sizzles, add as many as you can fit without any of them touching. Cook, using a metal spatula to carefully turn them as they brown.
- Drain the finished croquettes on the paper towel lined plate.
- In a small bowl, stir the mayonnaise with the remaining basil.
- Serve croquettes with basil mayo.