Jamie and Kelly Kornegay turned me on to this recipe: spoonfuls of grated squash in cornmeal batter that blossom like sunflowers as they sizzle to a crisp brown. When it is not possible to eat all the squash that comes out of the backyard garden quickly enough, the Kornegays have admitted to leaving anonymous gifts on neighbors’ doorsteps under the cover of darkness. They, too, have been on the receiving end of this generous gesture. Kelly tried the recipe she got from a neighbor one particularly prolific summer, when she had exhausted her many other uses for crooknecked squash.
These are terrific with a grating of Pecorino cheese over the top while warm. They’re also good served as an alternative to hush puppies at a fish fry.–Martha Hall Foose
LC Splayed Like a Sunflower Note
The author notes that this batter sort of blossoms like a sunflower when it’s dropped into hot oil. We have no doubt this happens for the lovely Ms. Martha Hall Foose, although let’s just say we’re still honing our technique. For now, saying that the golden-brown clumps we pulled from the hot oil resemble sunflowers is sort of like looking at a cloud and saying it resembles Johnny Depp. Which is to say, it just requires a smidgen of imagination. This is of little consequence, however, given how pleasing these lovely little hushpuppy-like treats are to the palate. (And if, by chance, any of your fritters resemble Johnny Depp, we expect you to take a picture and send it our way!)
Squash Fritters Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes | Serves 8
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal (or substitute a scant 2 cups regular cornmeal, 2 tablespoons baking powder, and a generous pinch salt)
- 1/2 cup self-rising flour (or substitute 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and a generous pinch salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- 1 cup grated yellow summer squash
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- Vegetable oil, for frying, (1 to 2 cups)
- 1. In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt, and sugar to get out any lumps. In a separate bowl, combine the onion, squash, buttermilk, and egg. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- 2. Meanwhile, heat about 4 inches of oil in a deep pot or deep-fryer to 375°F (190°C). Set a wire rack over newspaper or paper towels.
- 3. To fry the little blobs of batter, dip two spoons in the hot oil, then scoop up a spoonful of batter with one spoon and slide it into the hot oil using the other spoon. Do not stir the batter! Repeat to make more fritters, dipping the spoons again into the hot oil if the batter begins to stick. Don’t crowd the pan. Fry the squash fritters, turning as needed, until crisp and deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on the rack set over newspaper. Serve hot.
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Squash Fritters Recipe © 2008 Martha Hall Foose. Photo © 2008 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.