Recipe for Colony Corn Oysters

Cod with Onions, Lemons & Spinach

Favorite - This is an all time favorite

We miss Colony. It served old fashioned Boston food, from good old colonial days. This was one of our favorite dishes there. The corn oysters are probably technically fritters, but we'll stick with the Northerner term. If the oil is nice and hot, they turn out lighter than air.

Colony Corn Oysters

(from Boston Globe Magazine Sept 6 '87)

The Colony Restaurant, owned by David Kantrowitz and Bruce Frankel, is known for its use of local produce and regional recipes, these corn oysters among them. The recipe was originally made only with eggs and the corn pulp and milky liquid taken from splitting corn kernels down the center. Some people thought corn oysters looked and tasted like oysters from the sea, thus the name. The Colony's modern version contains corn pulp and liquid, lots of whole kernels, eggs, and flour, which make lovely crisp fritters. The restaurant offers them with a tartar sauce made from its own mayonaisse mixed with homemade piccalilli.

Corn Oysters

6 ears fresh corn
1 egg, separated, plus 1 extra yolk
1/4 cup flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of cream of tartar
vegetable oil for shallow fat frying

Shuck the corn. Take 2 ears and, using a small knife, split each row down the center of the kernels. Scrape out the pulp and milky liquid and pile this into a bowl.

Take the remaining 4 ears and, using the knife, cut the kernels off the cob. Add them to the pulp and milky liquid in the bowl.

Stir in the 2 egg yolks, then add the flour and a generous pinch each of salt, black pepper, and cayenne.

In another bowl, use a rotary egg beater to beat the egg white and cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until the egg white holds stiff peaks.

Fold the white into the corn mixture, taking care not to overmix it.

Heat enough oil in a deep skillet to make a 1 inch layer. When the oil is very hot, add heaping tablespoons of the batter to the oil. Fry the fritters until they are golden brown on the undersides, then turn them over and brown the other sides.

Drain the corn oysters on paper towels, sprinkly them lightly with salt, and serve them at once with spicy tartar sauce.

Spicy Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup homemade mayonaisse
2 tbsp piccalilli - sweet hamburger relish works too
1 tbsp chopped capers
1 tbsp each chopped fresh herbs - chives, tarragon, parsley
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

In a bowl, whisk together the mayonaisse, piccalilli, capers and herbs.

Gradually whisk in the cider vinegar and lemon juice until the mixture is smooth, then add the chopped jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Add more cider vinegar to make a dressing that is the consistency of a dipping sauce and taste the sauce for seasoning. If you like, add another pinch of lemon juice, cayenne pepper or salt to taste.

Spoon the tartar sauce into a bowl and serve it at once.

Homemade Mayonaisse

1 egg
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

In a blender or food processor combine the egg, mustard, salt and pepper. Whir the mixture onm high for half a minute. Leaving the motor on, remove the insert in the lid and add oil a teasponn at a time until half of it is incorporated. Beat in the vinegar followed by the remaining oil.

Taste the mixture for seasoning; if it has a cloying taste, add another pinch of salt or splash of vinegar.

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