Jerk Spiced Corn Fritters

When it comes to hangovers I’m sorry to say that I have many points of reference, not that they get any easier. When once it was possible to giddily make your way out into the world after a night on the tiles, it becomes increasingly difficult to even haul your ass out of bed before midday. The still young adult starts off – dare I say it – almost enjoying a hangover, then progresses through various stages of increasing pain before reaching full-blown knuckle-dragging misery.

I have written before that taming the hangover is like dealing with a ferocious beast – you’d better tread carefully because one wrong move and it’s all over. The hangover is something that needs minute-by-minute management, and although I consider myself an expert everyone is different. I am very fussy about food, for example, to the point where things I usually adore, like eggs, cannot pass my lips post-booze. This is a recent development likely to change at any moment. I also can’t stick tea; so where usually I’m a ten cups a day gal, the morning after it’s just rancid tannic bile.

Jerk Spiced Corn Fritters

This is a recipe for a level 2-3 hangover (out of 5). I say that because it does require you to stand up in the kitchen, mix things together in a bowl and fry the results in a pan. The fritters are excellent, though, because a) they’re fried b) they’ve got corn and sour cream and c) they’ve got habanero sauce and I think we all know that it’s my absolute favourite chilli. Make these, pile them up and eat them in bed while binge-watching Netflix.

Jerk Spiced Corn Fritters with Sour Cream and Hot Sauce

This makes 15-20 fritters (depending on how large you make them)

2 x 198g cans (pre-drained weight) sweetcorn, drained
140g plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
220ml milk
3 spring onions, very finely sliced
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1-2 teaspoons Tabasco Habanero Sauce  (remember you’ll add more at the table/in bed)
1 egg, beaten lightly with a fork
Oil, for frying (such as vegetable or groundnut)

To serve

Tabasco Habanero Sauce
Lime wedges
Sour cream
You could also add some grilled bacon…

Sift the flour into a large bowl with the baking powder. Pour in the milk and mix well to make a smooth batter.

Add the sweetcorn, coriander, allspice, spring onion, Tabasco and egg and season with two large pinches of salt.

Heat a 1cm depth of oil in a heavy based frying pan or skillet and wait until it starts shimmering, but not smoking. Turn the heat to medium-high. Drop a tablespoon of the batter into the oil at a time and flatten it out into a round fritter shape. It will take a few minutes to turn golden on the underside – you can then flip it over and brown the other side.

Be wary as the oil will spit a little and splash as you turn them. Set aside to drain off excess oil on kitchen paper. To serve, add lime wedges, sour cream and more coriander and Tabasco alongside.

This recipe was commissioned by Tabasco. All content was written and created by me and I retain full editorial control. 


Beetroot Fritters
I really do love a good fritter. Salt fish fritters for when I’m feeling very ‘Peckham’ or juicy corn fritters at the end of summer when there’s so much corn going cheap I can’t fry fast enough. Recently, I’ve been grating all those stubborn winter root vegetables into submission.

First to get the treatment were the beets; grated into the mix with whole chickpeas and sharp feta cheese, sizzled and drizzled with minty yoghurt.

The carrots got shredded in with plenty of fresh coriander leaves and spring onions, fried till orange-gold and served with a ginger-infused sauce. You can’t really go wrong with fritters; as long as the mixture isn’t too sloppy and your oil is hot you’re set for crisp and crunchy dinner satisfaction. A few singed edges here and there on your first batch won’t matter either.

Frittering root veg seems to bring out their sweetness, which is why the slightly sour yoghurt works so well as an accompaniment. I prefer the creamy full-fat Greek-style version but if you want to use regular or even (shudder) low-fat then cut back on the citrus juice, it will be too astringent otherwise. Seriously though, you’ve just fried vegetables in oil, enjoy them properly.

Carrot and Coriander Fritters with Gingery Yoghurt

(serves 4 as a starter)

500g carrots, grated
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
Oil, for frying

For the yoghurt

250g thick natural yoghurt
Squeeze of lime juice
1 inch piece ginger

Once the carrots are grated, squeeze them to extract as much juice as possible. Mix with the rest of the fritter ingredients. Squeeze some of the mixture together in your hands to make sure it won’t fall apart when cooking. If you think it will, add either some more beaten egg or flour, but just a little.

Cook the fritters in batches: heat a 1cm depth of oil in a heavy-based frying pan. When hot, drop spoonfuls of the batter into it, immediately pressing flat with a spatula. It’s important not to crowd the pan; you’ll probably cook 3 at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden. Don’t be tempted to turn the fritters before they have formed a good crust underneath, or they will break. Remove to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain with excess oil then keep warm in a very low oven while you cook the remaining fritters.

Mix the yoghurt and lime juice in a bowl. Cut the ginger into small pieces and squeeze through a garlic crusher – all the juice should come out in the bowl and any ginger root should be finely crushed. Serve dolloped on top of the hot fritters.

Beetroot, Chickpea and Feta fritters with Minty Yoghurt

(serves 4 as a starter)

350g cooked beetroot (if cooking yourself, simmer whole then rub the skins away afterwards)
200g cooked chickpeas
100g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
Zest of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons flour (plain white flour or chickpea flour)
Salt and pepper
Groundnut or vegetable oil, for frying

For the sauce

250g tub thick natural yoghurt
Handful mint leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper
To make the sauce, put the yoghurt, mint and lemon juice in a blender and whizz until thoroughly mixed. Taste and season with salt and pepper

To make the fritters, grate the beetroot into a large bowl then transfer to a sieve and press down to squeeze out as much of the juice as you can. Transfer back to the bowl and mix in all the other fritter ingredients. Season with salt and pepper but be sparing with the salt as the feta is salty. Squeeze some of the mixture together in your hands to make sure it won’t fall apart when cooking. If you think it will, add either some more beaten egg or flour, but just a little.

Heat a 1cm depth of oil in a heavy based frying pan. Drop spoons of the batter into the hot oil, immediately spreading out to a flat fritter shape (the fritters need to be the same thickness all over).

It’s important not to crowd the pan; you’ll probably cook 3 at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side then set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Don’t be tempted to turn the fritters before they have formed a good crust underneath, or they will break. The fritters can be kept warm in a very low oven while you cook the next batch.

Serve at once with the sauce.

Salt Fish Fritters

The Jamaican name for this dish, ‘Stamp ‘n Go’ is said to come from the behaviour of impatient, fritter-hungry customers who would stamp their feet for attention and then simply leave the shop if they didn’t get it. Leave without the fritters? Eh? There must be another part to that story; I’ve only eaten them once and I’m hooked. This is the kind of recipe you know you’re going to love but just never get around to making and then you kick yourself repeatedly once you do. Piping hot, fresh golden batter bombs explode with poofs of salty, spiced steam ready for the mighty plunge into bud-tingling chilli sauce.

With a big bag of fillets left over from the okazi soup and a trick up my sleeve for preparing it quickly, these were a doddle to knock up on a school night. I gave the fillets just two boils in fresh changes of water this time to keep a chewier texture and slightly more salt, before adding the flakes to a batter along with spring onions, chilli, garlic and parsley. Tablespoon by tablespoon they dropped into a skillet of shimmering oil, spreading out just enough before crisping quickly to ‘eat-me-now-dammit’ brown. Inside, the salt fish brings an insanely satisfying toothsome chew, surrounded by the fluffy flavour sponge of batter. We inhaled the lot in minutes and not many of them.

I took the simplest approach possible when it came to the sauce and lobbed a can of chopped tomatoes, about 5 regular red chillies, a few cloves of garlic, some salt, some vinegar and some sugar into a pot and cooked it down on the tame side of furiously for about 20 minutes, before half heartedly stabbing at it with a stick blender; it repaid me way too generously for my meagre efforts.

That said, as soon as the first fritter began its inevitable and rapid journey towards my belly, there was talk of spicy sweetcorn relish. I honestly cannot think of any better accompaniment; I kicked myself once more. In my future right now, I see fritters: great towering piles of steaming fritters accompanied by bowls, no, vats, of hot sweetcorn relish. I won’t hesitate to stamp until I get them.


Salt Fish Fritters

350g salt fish fillets, boiled in two changes of water for five minutes each time and then flaked (removing skin and bones)
1 small white onion, finely chopped
3 spring onions, white and green parts finely chopped
1/2 – 1 scotch bonnet chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed (to be honest, I’m not sure I actually used this in the end so it’s up to you)
A small handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
115g plain flour
2 eggs
120ml milk
Groundnut oil, for frying

Soften the spring onions, onion, garlic and chilli in a little oil until soft but not coloured. Add to a bowl with the salt fish and parsley. Beat the flour, milk and eggs together in a separate bowl until smooth then combine with the fish mixture. Season with black pepper (no salt).

Heat a 2cm depth groundnut oil in a skillet or frying pan and drop tablespoons of batter in, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.