Corn-Fritter Poppers with Avo-Ranch Sauce
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- 4 slices meaty bacon, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 limes, 1 zested (about 1 teaspoon) and both halved
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2 to 3 tablespoons pickled jalapeño brine plus 3 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños
- 1/4 cup mixed finely chopped fresh chives and cilantro or parsley and dill
- 4 ears corn, husked
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup shredded yellow cheddar, loosely packed
- 6 tablespoons cream cheese, cut into pieces, at room temperature
- 3 to 4 scallions, finely chopped, white and light-green parts only
- 1/4 cup (a small handful) fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 large jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- About 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) each ground coriander, ground cumin and smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
- About 1/4 cup canola, peanut or safflower oil, plus more for drizzling
In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium high. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and let cool. Save skillet and its drippings.
Scoop the flesh from 1 avocado into a food processor and add the juice of a half lime (about 1 tablespoon). Slice the remaining avocado and douse with the juice of another half lime. Set aside.
Add the yogurt, jalapeño brine and a little salt to the processor with the avocado; process the sauce until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; stir in the chopped pickled jalapeños and the herbs.
Invert a small bowl inside a large bowl. Place 1 ear of corn upright on top of the small bowl. Cut the kernels off the cob (they’ll fall into the big bowl); repeat with the remaining ears of corn. Remove the small bowl, add the flour and baking powder to the kernels and toss to coat. Stir in the eggs, cheddar, cream cheese, scallions, cilantro, chopped jalapeños, garlic, spices, lime zest and reserved bacon. Season the batter with salt and pepper.
Form batter into twelve fritters, each about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Add enough oil to the reserved drippings in the skillet to just cover the bottom, about 1/4 cup. When it begins to ripple, add 6 fritters to the skillet. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fritters to a rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet or to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining fritters. Douse each batch with the juice from a lime half (1 tablespoon for each batch).
Serve fritters on a platter with Avo-Ranch Sauce alongside for dipping.