My favorite thing at Park Avenue BBQ and Grill is not barbecue at all -- it's the sweet, deep fried corn fritters ordered a la carte from the menu. Unlike hush puppies or typical corn fritters, Park Avenue's version are cakey and moist and totally absent of rough, corn meal texture.
They're served with three condiments to play with; mixing and matching each different one can lead to dramatic results. Adding honey from a squeeze bottle recalls both carnival food and something vaguely Asian. The combo of powdered sugar and maple syrup suggests French toast. Cut the maple syrup from that equation and you get something shockingly close to a beignet - the dough warm and light; the sugar turning sticky as it clings to the pastry's greasy exterior. At $3.49 for an order of six, Park Avenue's corn fritters are one of the tastiest confections around, dollar for dollar.
Owner and founder of the chain of smokehouses, Dean Lavallee,
created the recipe himself in 1988. He had purchased a failed barbecue
joint in Lake Park, Florida, and decided to rework their recipe for
corn fritters himself.
"I just tinkered with it," says
Lavallee. "I grew up in the south and hush puppies and corn fritters
are part of the culture here. But most of them are corn meal oriented,
and I didn't feel that fit the barbecue so well." Lavalle's change was to
remove the corn meal and go with an all flour base instead. His other
secret ingredient? Cream corn. "I think that really smoothed things
Lavallee shared the recipe for Park Avenue's excellent corn fritters with New Times. Find it after the jump.
Recipe adapted for the home kitchen and not tested.
32 oz. whole milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 can creamed corn
1/4 TB vegetable oil
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 can whole kernel corn
Mix ingredients together. Add enough self-rising flour until consistency is thick and firm and refrigerate. Using 1.5 oz scooper, drop into hot oil fryer at 350 degrees for approximately 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with powdered sugar, maple syrup, and honey.