Saturday, June 19, 2010

Guiso de Maiz & Miami-Style Corn Fritters

Welcome to Lazaro Actually Cooks Saturday

I love my father, he is one of the nicest people you ever want to meet, but he is not a cook. With that said, the old man has his few courses he prepares that he is particularly proud of. One of these is called, Guiso de Maiz, a rustic Cuban corn stew. Since it is Father’s Day, I thought it perfect to highlight this wonderful stew.

Florida sweet corn is one of the best crops my state produces. June marks the end of the Florida sweet corn season until August. There is nothing better than cutting the kernels fresh off a cob. Traditionally this stew is made with tomato, I omit it. Mostly because I love the sweet subtle flavor of fresh corn combined with Vinagre de Jerez, or Spanish Sherry vinegar and that is enough acid.

Calabaza or West Indian pumpkin is another important component of the dish. You find this used extensively in Caribbean cuisine and by extension in Miami. Traditionally, the stew is served chunky and rustic. Well that’s not my style. In my cuisine I puree and strain 95% of my soups, stews and sauces. I prefer my guests to enjoy silky mouthful after silky mouthful.  The garish for the soup is diced Calabaza, sweet corn, browned pancetta, and fresh culantro.

I had so much magnificent corn in my kitchen that I decided to make Frituras de Maiz or Miami-style corn fritters. Check them out after the stew. Yeah, this post was pretty corny…no doubt!

Guiso de Maiz

2 tbs grape seed oil
4 oz chorizo – diced- (casing removed)
2 leeks – (white and light green parts only)
1 roasted red bell pepper – diced
2 shallots – minced
3 tbs Vinagre de Jerez – Spanish Sherry Vinegar
8 cups vegetable stock – recipe below
1 boniato – diced
1 cup Calabaza – (peeled & diced)
8 large ears corn, kernels removed – 4 cups
Sea salt & white pepper

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook till browned. Add the leek, roasted red pepper, and shallots. Cook until vegetables are tender – 6 minutes. Add the vinegar, veggie stock, boniato, and calabaza. Reduce the heat to low. Cover with parchment lid and cook for 20 minutes

Add the corn. Season with sea salt & white pepper. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup completely. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper.

For the Garnish:
Sweet corn kernels
Fresh Culantro - chopped

In a sauté pan brown the pancetta. Add the diced calabaza and cook for 3 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes.

To Plate:
1. Mound the garnish of pancetta, calabaza, and sweet corn in the center of the bowl.
2. Sprinkle with chopped culantro
3. Pour the stew around the garnish.

Vegetable Stock
1/2 pound leeks – (white and light green parts only) - chopped
½ pound yellow onions – chopped
¼ pound of carrots – peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb – trimmed & chopped
¼ cup canola oil
2 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
1 large bunch of marjoram

Chop all the vegetables in a food processor. In a stockpot, cook vegetables in canola oil over medium-low heat for 8 minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, and enough water to cover. Simmer for 50 minutes. Skim frequently to remove impurities. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

Note: Freeze any leftover stock immediately for later use.

Frituras de Maiz:

2 cups fresh corn kernels
2 tbs AP flour
½ tsp Fleur de Sel
3 organic eggs
1 tbs unsalted clarified butter
Corn oil

Puree the corn in a food processor. In a glass bowl, combine the corn puree, flour, and fleur de sel. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix well. Add the clarified butter. Mix well to completely combine.

Heat the corn oil in a heavy bottom pan to 350 F. Using 2 spoons shape the fritters to your desired shape. Drop into the oil and fry till crisp and golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pat down with paper towel to remove as much excess oil as possible.

Lime Salt
1/4 cup Fleur de Sel
Grated zest of 1 lime

Combine the salt and lime zest in a bowl. Mix well to incorporate. Leftover salt can be frozen for later use.

Whipped Chive Crème Fraiche
½ cup crème fraiche
½ bunch chive – chopped fine

In a glass bowl, whip together the crème fraiche to a desired consistency. DO NOT OVERWHIP! Gently fold in the chopped chives.

To Plate:
1. Assemble corn fritters on a plate.
2. Spoon a dollop of whipped chive crème fraiche on each fritter
3. Sprinkle some of the lime salt
4. Garnish with fresh chervil

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. Mmm, what delicious recipes! Of course, I will make my version veggie of these. I will let you know how they turn out ... just happen to have some sweet corn, from CA, in the fridge. Yummy.

  2. fabulous recipes and those fritters look like I need to make them asap! very nice :)

  3. This looks so amazing- I'd have to omit the pancetta but when soup looks that good, who cares? Great stuff!

  4. Mmm, a delicious AND corny post :) The soup looks incredible as do the fritters.

  5. Both recipes sound delicious, and the fact that the stew is an heirloom recipe from your dad makes it even more special! A beautiful tribute!

  6. Those recipes sound wonderful and I would love to try the corn soup; I usually have corn chowder, but your soup sounds tasty!...Happy weekend Lazaro and family=kiss those sweet kitties for me!

  7. What great recipes, and how nice to highlight this for your father! They both look so good. I better get out there and take advantage of our Florida corn while I can!

  8. The soup sounds fantastic and perfect to go with these firtters. A satisfying meal.

  9. The post is pretty corny, i love the dishes and your presentation is always an amazement.

    I remembered when I first used "culantro". I wanted to make Arroz con Gandules. The sofrito called for culantro, I thought they mispelled "cilantro." Thanks to google. I just love the aroma and flavor they add to the dish.

  10. Ooo yummy, especially those Frituras de Maiz! Love that this post is inspired by your dad.

  11. Sounds amazing...I love corn fritters:)

  12. The colour of the stew is just incredible and the frituras look amazing. Congrats on your presentation, it's always wonderful and thanks for the excellent recipes. Can't wait to try.

  13. Just looking at the photos, one can see how much pride and thought you put into your dish and presentation to end up with something so beautiful and inspiring. Fantastic! Your dad must be proud.

  14. I love corn in anything! The stew sounds great along with the fritters :)

  15. Delicioso! I loved the corn stew and then I scrolled down to the fritters, the lime salt, and the chive creme fraiche...they're all wonderful!!

  16. Your dad's corn stew sounds really excellent! I love the chorizo in the recipe and I need to explore the Calabaza, I have not cooked with it yet. The lime salt on the corn fritters is an awesome addition!

  17. now that is one great looking soup....I had a feeling you were going to puree it, I think either way its got to be delicious! I love corn fritters, I should definitely make them for my girls!

  18. There is nothing better than fresh corn this time of year. I eat it until I can't take it anymore because once it is's gone!

    BTW, this stew looks delicious!

  19. Happy Father's Day! all dished here look so delicious.

  20. Two wonderful recipes Lazaro! I love the colour combination of the red peppers, corn, and calabaza. Not to mention what great flavors and textures as well. I don't think I've ever had corn fritters before but I think my kids would love these as they enjoy eating corn. Love that you added the lime salt. Thank you for sharing such great recipes.

  21. Loved both dishes, delicious and very special.
    Happy fathers day to your dad ♥

  22. There's nothing better than corn season. Your Dad's stew sounds fantastic. You've used lots of wonderful flavors today.

    Hope Audi treats you well for father's day.

  23. It all looks delicious, especially those fritters. I haven't made them in a long time and must try this. Yum!!!

  24. Your recipes are always like nothing I have ever seen but always look delicious

  25. Hey Lazaro, this sounds so wonderful, and it's so sweet that you made it for your Pop! I bet he loves it when you cook for him...
    p.s. I like to puree a lot of my soups, but I haven't much lately b/c Cauldron Boy doesn't like it. I love pureeing too though!

  26. The fritters look very yummy. Not something that I grew up with so always a bit fascinated, and salivating.

  27. It's so sweet that you made this as a tribute to your dad! Between the calabaza and the sweet corn, I am absolutely loving this recipe!

  28. The color on that soup is just incredible really - something that bright and beautiful must taste absolutely gorgeous!

  29. yummy! i'll have to try this one out. thanks for sharing!

  30. Beautiful recipe, I like how you put it all together, especially the corn fritters, thanks for sharing your dad's recipe.

  31. Can't decide which one I like better. Guess I'll have to give them both a try.
    And thank you for your thoughtfulness.

  32. Happy Father's day to your dad Laz! I like a silky and smooth of a soup too! It looks savory and I could lick the bowl to finish it if I had a chance to have some :)

    It's so sweet of you and your brother to make dinner for your dad! And those fritters oh yeah! I love anything that fries!

  33. Both look fantastic. Pancetta adds such a delicious saltiness to any recipe - I'd love to give the stew a whirl! I've never tried to make any Cuban dishes before.

  34. Happy father's day to all the dads, and this is a beautiful recipe coming from yours! I know this stew has all it needs to be delightful! from the broth flavor to the silky texture and the crunchy topping mixture, it is a gorgeous dish. I love corn fritters and the addition of the chive crème fraîche makes it truly special. Délicieux!

  35. OMG everything looks sooo delicious! I have been craving corn lately and what better partner for it than pancetta - brilliant! The fritters look scrumptious as well - thanks for the fabulous recipes. Hope you had a wonderful day:)

  36. I'm so envious that you have this access to wonderful sweet corn...I'll have to wait until our local farmers here are gleeming of joy to offer to us soon too ;o)
    The fritters look like something I'd like to sink my teeth into...appreciate the addition of 'Fleur de sel'.
    Your one fortunate dad.
    Thanks for sharing and flavourful wishes, Claudia

  37. Wow, these both look great. Our corn is not in season yet but will love to try this soup when it is.

  38. What a nice post! My dad is one of my favorite people but really the only thing he can prepare is grilled meat and rice. Otherwise he's kind of clueless. ;)

    I'm lazy, so I would probably just purée the soup and leave it at that. I'm sure it'd still be tasty :P
    Everything looks wonderful! I had to google what a boniato was haha.

  39. Sweet corn is a few weeks away for us. We have friends who farm over a thousand acres of corn and soybeans nearby. Most of the corn is for the secondary market but they have a large garden of sweet corn that arrives, frequently, at our table. I'm happy to have this recipe!! By the way, we have a new dalmatian coming to our house later this week. We are so excited! I will, of course, be posting about him.


  40. Love the garnish here including the chorizo and the corn fritters sounds marvelous; had no idea Florida was known for its corn production!

  41. Your father is lucky to have such a good cook in his life! These fritters look so good and I love the Whipped Chive Crème Fraiche.

  42. Wow another fabulous recipe Lazaro! Time to go eat lunch but it won't be nearly as fabulous as this sounds. Guess I'll just have to fantasize about this one for now :)

  43. So unique and it looks delicious. I just am going to come right out and say this. What is boniato?

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

  44. I adore silky soups, so am in complete agreement! The color of your soup is so vivid. It looks fabulous and I love your presentation with the chunky bits of corn and pancetta.

    But...I am hooked by your corn fritter recipe. Simple and delicious. I'm loving the corn right now too, picked up some today to make my roasted corn and edamame salad and will have enough left over to make your fritters. *smile*

  45. Everything looks so darn good, I don't know where to begin. Believe it or not, I am especially drawn to the ingredients in your stock. Leeks, fennel and marjoram sounds like a fragrant melody:)

    What a wonderful tribute for your dad, Lazaro. Thank you so much for sharing...

    I'm sure no one would mind if you brought a fritter or two to the Picnic Game we're playing online. (I'm sure we would LOVE anything you brought:) I hope to "see" you there.

  46. Yummie, both recipes look so the color of the soup and indeed very nice garnished.

  47. Hi Laz

    Sorry I didn't visit sooner - I had a jam packed weekend that only ended on Monday night *phew*

    This is indeed a very corny post, but in the best way possible!

    Somehow I don't see you and "rustic" walking hand in hand ;) Everything you do is nothing short of elegant and refined, even if essentially simple!

    Love the colour of the soup - absolutely radiant and I just have such a weakness for fritters!!!

    Hope your dad had a great Father's Day :)

  48. con fritters with a great soup, what a perfect meal..yummy recipes


  49. These are nice and pretty dishes! I like to make them all for my family but I am afraid that I might be too busy this week.

  50. now thats a great soup! love the silky texture without even doing a puree, love the colors, and the flavors that it consists.... I love fritters! So I can finish two plates of that in one sitting... Just curious, how does grapeseed oil tastes? I take grapeseed oil capsules as food supplement, but havent tried it in cooking....

  51. Now you are cookin'! These are my favourite posts of yours! The ones where YOU cook! I am thankful for google images... as that is how I found the yam and the squash that are in your recipe with completely different names. This is a soup I will make. It sounds divine - and the corn fritters? Well, COME ON? Everything deep fried is deadly yummy. My husband loves corn fritters.
    Great post...!!!!

  52. Hey! Thanks for stopping by my place for a visit...come back often! Your meal sounds fabulous! I love all of the flavors throughout!

  53. My dad can't cook either. The man can't even fry anything!

    I'll go with what Denise said, this dish doesn't look rustic at all to me. Itlooks elegant.

    Lucky dad! :)


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