A simple definition. Fritters are made from a simple batter that is garnished with meat or vegetables or fruit and then fried, either in a pan or deep-fryer. They can be sweet or savoury.
Why you should care about fritters. Fritters are an important preparation to master for the following reasons: you almost always have the ingredients needed to make them; they fry up quickly; and they are a fantastic way to use leftovers, whether it’s meat like ground beef or ham, or sautéed vegetables, or cheese.
The fritter continuum. The degree to which the batter or the interior garnishes dominate varies widely. Let’s explore the two ends of the Fritter Continuum using corn fritters.
You can make a corn fritter by taking the kernels from one ear of corn and stirring in an egg, a tablespoon each of flour and cornmeal, and a pinch of salt. This will make a fritter that is mostly comprised of fresh corn, barely held together by egg and starch. This fritter is relatively dense, and gives the eater the satisfaction of popping several kernels of corn in one bite. This style of fritter is typically pan-fried or griddled. It is pictured above.
On the other hand, you could make a batter by stirring together a cup of flour, two tablespoons of baking powder, a cup of milk, a couple eggs, then fold some corn kernels into the batter. This would make a light, doughy fritter studded with yellow kernels of corn. This style of fritter is usually deep-fried. At right.
The next time you are craving bar food, if you have eggs in your fridge and flour in your pantry, consider fritters.