Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cluck ’n Moo Mexi-Fritters

You give me ground meat, and being the simple home cook that I am I go straight to meatloaf, meatballs, or sloppy Joe’s. ARGH! So, in my feeble attempt to think “outside of the box,” I decided to make a fritter. Okay, okay, so I can still see the box sitting on the bar stool next to me but I’m outside of it...a little!

Testing this recipe was fun and super filling. My sister, who has decided that all carbs are sinful and that she will NOT partake of anything with flour or corn in the ingredients list, stopped by my house when I was in the throes of testing my recipe. She tried one of my little Mexi-Fritters because “they don’t have THAT much flour or corn in them.” Half an hour later, she and my husband were asking for another batch. Rules are meant to be broken.

Cluck’n Moo Mexi-Fritters
by Maryjo

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced medium
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound Cluck 'n Moo Ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 of a 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 ear of fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed (about 1/2 cup)
2 sliced Serrano peppers (removing seeds optional)
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
Oil for frying

Heat the olive oil in a skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about two to three minutes. Add the garlic and the Cluck 'n Moo Ground. Brown the meat, breaking up the pieces into smaller chucks as you cook. Continue cooking about 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat is cooked fully through. Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, the ground coriander, the oregano, 1 Tablespoon of the ground cumin, the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the red pepper flakes, the 1/2 can of petite diced tomatoes, and the Tabasco sauce. Cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Using a food processor, put half of the meat mixture into the food process and pulse 5 to 10 times until the meat is ground fine. Add it back to the skillet or Dutch oven and combine the ground meat with the chunky meat.

In a large bowl, add the cooled meat, the beaten eggs, corn kernels, Serrano peppers, fresh chopped cilantro, sharp cheddar cheese, all-purpose flour, baking powder, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well (I use my hands for this but be sure to remove your jewelry…it’s a sticky mess.)

I used a deep fryer to cook the first batch I prepared, and I used a skillet to cook another batch. If you use a fryer, follow the fryer manufacturer’s directions. I used peanut oil in my deep fryer (as suggested by the manufacturer.) I scooped 1
Tablespoon of the dough into a sticky ball and placed them onto a floured plate. Cooking a dozen at a time, I cooked the fritters for three minutes, turning them with a slotted spoon to make sure they browned evenly on all sides. After three minutes I drained them on a wire rack, salted them, and served. If you decide to cook them in a skillet, just put enough oil in the bottom of the skillet to come about half way up the side of the fritters. Heat the oil before adding the fritters. Again, cook the fritters for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning half way through. Then drain on a wire rack or paper towels. Remember, the meat is already fully cooked!

These are delicious as a little appetizer popper or served inside a soft flour tortilla (sort of like a falafel.) Play with it. I made a spicy jalapeño aioli to go with it. Note that you’re going to get at least two dozen fritters out of this recipe, depending on the size of dough ball you make. If you have more than you need, just measure the fritters out onto a lined baking sheet and freeze them. Once frozen, drop the individually frozen fritters into a zip top bag and put them back in the freezer. If you want to cook a dozen fritters, just pull a dozen out of the bag, thaw them completely, and cook just as described above.

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