Corn and Leek Fritter Stack with Ricotta and Fried Egg

My first trip to Australia was during their summer, and I had brunch in breezy little cafe near the beach.  I ate corn fritters stacked with salad, creamy cheese, and a fried egg.  I could not get that taste out of my mind, and had to make it myself when I got home.  I added leeks to my fritters, and used fresh ricotta between the fritter stacks.  The runny yolk of the fried egg is meant to drip down into every crevice.  I like to make this for dinner since I pretty much think eggs should be eaten all day. 

Fritters (serves 4)

3 leeks, white and pale green parts only
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, patted dry
1 serene chile, minced
1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
3/4 cup self rising flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
vegetable oil for frying

Slice the leeks thinly and put into a bowl of cold water.  Swirl with your hand to let any sand fall to the bottom of the bowl.  Remove leek slices and let dry on a paper towel.  In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add the leeks and onion.  Sauté for 15 minutes, or until soften.  Transfer to a large bowl and add corn, chile, parsley, coriander, cumin, sugar, and salt.  Stir to combine, and allow to cool.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold it into the vegetables.  In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, whole egg, milk, and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. 

Gently fold it into the vegetable mixture.  Heat the skillet over medium high heat, and add enough vegetable oil to just cover the bottom surface of the pan.  Spoon 1/3 cup of the fritter batter into the oil, adding a few at a time and lightly flatten them with the back of a spatula.  Cook fritters until they are lightly browned underneath, about 3 minutes. 

Flip them and cook another 3 minutes.  Remove with a spatula, and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.  Repeat with remaining batter until all the fritters are made.  You can keep the fritters warm in a 325 degree oven for about ten minutes.

Herb Ricotta and Fried Egg:

8 ounces of fresh ricotta
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups arugula or spinach leaves, washed and patted dry
1/3 cup vegetable oil for frying
4 eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs or micro-greens

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and chopped herbs.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  Place four serving plates near the stove where you’ll fry the eggs.  Place a fritter on each plate, then top with ricotta and leaves.  Repeat until you have a stack of two fritters on each plate, topped with the ricotta and greens.

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and heat to 360 degrees.  Crack each egg, one at a time, and gently drop into the hot oil.  It’s easier if you just fry one or two eggs at a time.  Cook until the whites are set, then gently flip eggs with a spatula.  If you prefer a “sunny side up” egg, then don’t flip it, and spoon a little of the oil onto the yolk to allow it to set.  When your eggs are done to your satisfaction, remove and top each fritter stack with a fried egg. 

Garnish with chopped herbs or micro-greens and serve immediately.

MainsEvan Wei-Haas