It’s T-Minus 5 days until season four of Arrested Development airs this Sunday, and we’re celebrating by sharing some of our favorite recipes from the show. Up today: a Bluth family favorite…Cornballs!
You don’t have to read the Bob Loblaw Law Blog to know that you can’t make a good cornball without a Cornballer, a deep frying device invented by George Sr. However, because the Cornballer inflicts serious burns on anyone who dares to stand within a 13-inch radius of it, it was made illegal but continued to be sold in Mexico, much to George Sr.’s eventual demise.
The making of cornballs can indeed be pretty dangerous, and, true story… I actually did burn myself while deep frying these babies. When I yelled out OW! as hot grease splattered on my face, all I could hear was my loving husband laughing at me in the other room. I yelled back: “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
While it may not be easy to be white…or brown, it is pretty easy to make these cornballs, despite the burn potential. You simply make a thick batter of cornmeal and flour, add some flavor in the form of cheddar cheese, garlic powder, onions, jalapenos, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro…and sweet corn of course. The batter comes together with the addition of
Ann egg and milk, and then is deep fried to crispy perfection. I topped mine with fresh cilantro, and a squirt of lime juice and dipped them in salsa, to keep these cornballs true to their Mexican roots. (P.S. The lime is key here…makes a huge difference.)
These cornballs would be the perfect addition to your Arrested Development party…or a great side to your next Mexican feast. I will say that these are best eaten piping hot, but you can prepare the dough balls ahead of time
…And That’s Why you should make these cornballs as soon as possible, Cornballer or not.
(recipe by Carpé Season)
(yields 12 cornballs)
This easy fried cornball recipe was made in honor of the Cornballer from Arrested Development. My take on this Bluth-family favorite was to make more of a deep-fried corn fritter with Mexican flavors.
1 c. + 1/8 c. all purpose flour (plus a little more for your work surface)
1/4 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
large pinch cumin
1 c. fresh sweet corn or frozen sweet corn, thawed
1/2 c. sharp cheddar, finely grated
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, finely minced)
pinch black pepper
4 green onions, minced OR 1/8 c. minced onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced OR a pinch of ground cayenne pepper
4-5 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped (app. 1/8 c. packed leaves)
Hefty squeeze of lime juice (about 1/2 tbsp.)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. milk (up to 2 tbsp. more)
About 3 c. of vegetable oil (or enough to give you 3" in your frying pot)
Helpful tools: wax paper & a candy thermometer
For serving: extra chopped cilantro and green onions, salsa, lime wedges, sea salt
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder, Add in the corn, cheese, garlic, black pepper, onions, jalapeno (or cayenne), and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine thoroughly. Stir in the milk and beaten egg, then the lime juice. Dough will be very thick and hard to stir; it may be easier for you to get in there and squeeze the dough with your hands to mix.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Once combined, pinch off golf-ball-sized pieces of dough and plop onto a lightly-floured surface. With floured hands, roll the dough balls in your hands to make rounded balls, then place on your wax-paper lined baking sheet. These can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge; however, I recommend taking them out about 30 minutes before frying.
Pour oil in a deep-sided pot until it reaches about 3 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 375* on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, line a plate or wire rack with a few layers of paper towels. Once the oil is hot, CAREFULLY drop 3-4 cornballs into the oil at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot and lower the temperature too much. Fry for 3-5 minutes, turning frequently with a slotted spoon. Don't be afraid to let the cornballs get pretty browned. You want them too cook all the way through.* Remove cornballs from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper-towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with extra sea salt if desired. Serve after just a minute or so with suggested garnish above and salsa.
A note about frying these: Several of mine formed little tumors to the side of the "main" cornball. I am not sure why this happened to some and not others. The "tumors" can be easily cut off before serving and eaten secretly by you, the cook!