Corn Oysters

I’m picking the most elaborate recipe in this category, out of a choice of 6. These must have been popular back in the day.

(You can find the original recipe in the facsimile copy reproduced in Tom Kelchner’s new book The Story of the 1881 Cumberland Valley Cook and General Recipe Book)

Mix 1 pt. Of grated sweet corn with 3 tablespoons milk, 1 teacup flour, 1 large teaspoon melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 small pepper and 1 egg; drop this mixture by the large spoon into your frying pan, and fry them until brown; use butter for frying. These are nice served up with meat for dinner.

A teacup, OK I can do that. And again with the large teaspoon – clearly they know what a tablespoon is, and it isn’t that. Next, “A pepper.” I’m going to assume this is a green pepper and not like ground black pepper. The store was out of green peppers so I bought a red one, which is going to look pretty mixed in with the other ingredients. And it is not corn season, so a can of corn is going to have to do. I don’t think I need to grate it – they were probably just telling me to get the kernels off of the cob?

I uh, forgot to read the part that said use butter for frying. I deep fried these in Crisco instead, two minutes on each side. Although they’d probably be more oyster-ish in shape if they were sauteed in butter, I like the crispy crags on these. I thought these had a good texture with the center of the batter being soft in contrast to the mildly crispy outside. The corn added sweetness, and the red pepper had a nice rich flavor.

Reviews: “The batter is nice” “I don’t like corn”

My rating: 4/5 stars. I could see a restaurant serving this, or a nice item to choose for a deep-fried fair food. I tried it with a little dipping sauce, but it didn’t really need it. This doesn’t rate 5/5 due to not being totally addictive. I feel like it could use a little zing somehow, even if it’s just a little black pepper or other spices in the batter or sprinkled on after frying.

– Rachael Zuch of Zuch Design

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