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Crispy Cornmeal Fritters
© John Kernick

Crispy Cornmeal Fritters

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • VEGETARIAN

These slightly sweet, crispy cornmeal fritters, called "festival," are served all over Jamaica; supposedly, they get their name because eating them is like having a festival in your mouth. Bradford Thompson's favorites are from Aunt May's, a dirt-floored shack on Hellshire Beach near Kingston.

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  3. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  7. 1 cup evaporated milk
  8. 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the evaporated milk and stir until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead just until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a thick rope. Cut the dough into 24 pieces and roll each piece into a 9-inch rope. Bring both ends together and twist each rope tightly.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil to 350°. Fry the twists, about 8 at a time, until golden all over, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 1 hour.