At home or in a restaurant, with vats of strong coffee or bottomless mimosas, I’m a big fan of brunch. I like the anything-goes attitude: familiar brekkie-regulars like eggs or faff-free muesli are fine, but so too are burgers and fried chicken, laboured over and dressed up with creamy sauces, spicy coats and truffle shavings. And there’s the leisurely, social vibe, spread across both morning and afternoon. Start late, finish late, pour one more glass, put another pot on, where did the time go? Brunch begs to be drawn out. If I were a meal, I’d be brunch.
My go-tos when having people over for brunch are shakshuka, DIY bacon and egg (add Brie, or chilli jam or mushrooms, if you fancy) and pancakes. And they do the job. No one goes home hungry or unhappy. But everyone’s had these before, haven’t they? There’s no points to be scored for going the extra mile. Sweetcorn and leek fritters, spiked with plenty of garlic and paprika and accompanied by salty smoked bacon with cool, perfectly ripe (god willing) avocado and homemade harissa yoghurt, though? That’s enough to make brunch everyone’s number one.
These sweetcorn fritters are very easy to make, which is more than I can say for any other fritter-type thing I’ve tried to make before. My sweet potato patties in particular always fall apart or are burnt on the outside and raw inside.
I like these quite thin and crisp at the edges, a bit like a sweetcorn-studded pancake, but with a bit more oil in your pan and extra mixture in each ladle, you can make them taller and spongier. Of course, they don’t need to be saddled with bacon; you could add a poached or fried egg instead or chilli jam, if you’re vegan. However you serve them, they’re a great brunch idea that’ll impress the masses with minimal fuss and washing up.
Makes 6-8 fritters
1 tin sweetcorn
2 baby leeks
2 cloves of garlic, grated
35g plain flour
2 medium eggs
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of chilli powder
Salt & pepper
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tsp harissa paste
Fry the leeks and garlic in a little butter for a few minutes, then add them to a bowl with the sweetcorn.
Sieve in the flour, crack in the eggs, sprinkle with paprika, chilli powder and salt and pepper and mix until combined.
Heat a generous lug of vegetable oil in a small pan, and once it’s threatening to fizz and bubble, pour in a small ladle of mixture. It’s very similar to making pancakes from here.
1-2 minutes on each side should give you crisp edges and a lightly browned top and bottom where you can still see the yellow of the sweetcorn. If you’ve gone for thicker fritters with more mixture, add a minute or two more.
Keep each one under some tin foil while you do the whole batch, then pile high on a plate, top with bacon and avocado and slather with the harissa and yoghurt, mixed together.