Corn Fritters With Smashed Peas, Quick-Pickled Onions & Poached Eggs

Corn Fritters With Smashed Peas, Quick-Pickled Onions & Poached Eggs

Perfect for a light supper or even a weekend brunch, this combination of sweetcorn fritters with poached eggs is a bit of a modern classic. If you have the time, make the effort to pickle the onions the night before – your can always make a larger quantity of the onions to use in sandwiches or with cheese.
Total Time
1 Hour 20 Minutes
250g of corn kernels (from about 3 cobs)
½ a red pepper, finely chopped
½ a red onion, finely chopped
12g of coriander, chopped
Zest of 1 lime
50g of polenta
110g of plain flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of smoked paprika
170ml of buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
30g of unsalted butter, melted
80ml of sunflower oil
Sea salt
For The Quick-Pickled Onions
100ml of cider vinegar
1 tbsp of caster sugar
1 tsp of sea salt
3 black peppercorns
3 coriander seeds
½ a red onion, sliced
For The Smashed Peas
250g of frozen peas, defrosted
A handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp of lemon juice
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For The Poached Eggs
1 tbsp of white vinegar
6 eggs
To Serve
100g of crème fraîche
50g of watercress or rocket
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 100°C Fan/120°C/Gas Mark ½.

Step 2

The day or night before, make the quick-pickled onions to allow enough time for the flavour to develop. Bring the vinegar to the boil in a saucepan and add the sugar, salt, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Leave to simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and add the sliced onion. Leave to cool, then transfer to a sterilised jar.

Step 3

For the smashed peas, put the peas, mint, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and whizz, leaving it with some texture (don’t over-blend it and let it turn into a purée). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Step 4

To make the corn fritters, place 3 large bowls on a work surface. In one bowl combine the corn kernels, pepper, onion, coriander and lime zest. In the next bowl mix together the polenta, flour, baking powder, smoked paprika and 1 tsp of salt. In the last bowl mix together the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter.

Step 5

Begin by folding together the corn and pepper mixture with the polenta and flour mixture. Mix well, then add the contents to the bowl with the buttermilk, eggs and butter, so it’s all in one bowl. Gently fold the mixture together, trying not to overwork the mixture. Chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to allow the batter to firm up.

Step 6

When you’re ready to cook, heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. When hot, drop heaped dessert spoons of the corn fritter batter into the pan. Cook the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side, turning carefully using a fish slice. Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the remaining fritters. Once all of the fritters are cooked, put them on an oven tray and keep warm in the oven while you poach the eggs.

Step 7

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add a tbsp of white vinegar to the pan. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and use a slotted spoon to stir the water in a circular motion to create a vortex before cracking the eggs into the water one by one. Poach the eggs for 3 minutes 30-45 seconds then carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and put on a clean tea towel.

Step 8

To serve, put the smashed peas onto the plates first, followed by the corn fritters, some crème fraîche and then the pickled onions, watercress or rocket and add a poached egg on the side.

MasterChef Green by Adam Shepherd. Published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £26. Available now.

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