Do you know what week it is?!
It’s MINNESOTA STATE FAIR WEEK! Sorry for yelling, but this is exciting you guys. Where are my fellow Minnesotans at? You know what I’m talking about!
The Minnesota State Fair is the epicenter of all food-on-a-stick, it’s a food-lovers dream come true, and it’s what every Minnesotan looks forward to for those last two precious weeks of summer.
I’ve mentioned the fair before, in my Sweet Martha Cookie copycat recipe. Those warm cookies served by the bucketful just might be every Minnesota State Fair lover’s obsession. Go read all about those if you want (and then, of course, go get yourself two buckets – one for now, one for later).
Now, for State Fair week, I’m bringing you two unique State-Fair-worthy recipes. For starters: Scalloped Corn Arancini. So much to unpack here, so we might as well get to it!
First: SCALLOPED CORN!
I’m not sure if it is purely a Midwest thing, but I’m willing to bet it is. So for those of you who know what I’m talking about, you might want to go ahead and skip over the next paragraph or two. For those of you who have no idea, stick with me! Here it goes…
Scalloped Corn is basically a corn casserole. I was obsessed with it as a child (hello, all things corn). There was something about the slightly sweet creamed corn, the addition of crackers that bumped up the saltiness and added a slight crunch. It’s nostalgic, so if it’s all lost on you, I apologize.
When I thought about the Minnesota State Fair, and my favorite Midwestern foods, I couldn’t help but feel compelled to do something with scalloped corn. While it can admittedly be a bit boring on its own, balled up and rolled in a mix of breadcrumbs and Ritz crackers, fried to perfection, immediately makes it an ULTIMATE winner. Just like the crisp, creamy classic arancini, hit totally hits the mark.
We’re talking about a mix of buttery, rich sweetness. A crispy, crunchy exterior fried to perfection! Even better? They’re just a tiny bit extra salty, which is everything you need in a State Fair food, and will keep you reaching for your favorite beverage.
I see some football game appetizers in the future after this year’s State Fair is over. Once you give ’em a try, you won’t ever look back!
A twist on a classic Midwestern favorite and perfect for football games or fall potlucks, it’s Scalloped Corn Arancini!
- 1 can creamed corn
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 ear fresh corn kernels (~3/4 cup)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 6 Tablespoons crushed Ritz crackers (~8 crackers)
- 2 eggs, beaten for an egg wash
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Ritz crackers, smashed (~6 crackers)
- 1/2 cup flour
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Start by making the scalloped corn: pre-heat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl or the oven-safe skillet/baking dish you’ll use, stir together creamed corn, 1 beaten egg, corn kernels, peppers, salt, and crackers until combined. Spread evenly in a skillet and bake for 27-30 minutes, until golden on top and set up. Remove from oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Once scalloped corn is cooled, use a scoop or spoon to form 12, 1.5 – 2 inch balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set up.
- Meanwhile, prepare an egg wash by beating 2 eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together panko and cracker crumbs. Prepare flour in a third.
- Once arancini balls are set, roll in flour, then egg, then panko mix. Place on a plate until ready to fry.
- In a dutch oven or cast iron skillet, add vegetable oil approximately 2 inches deep; heat to 350° over medium heat. Add coated arancini balls to the hot oil and fry, turning as needed, until all sides are golden brown; approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel.
- Serve warm, with a sprinkle of parsley or parmesan cheese as desired.
Have leftovers? Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in a 375°F oven, preferably on a pizza stone to ensure crispiness. Best used within 2-3 days of the first fry.
Keywords: fall, state fair, midwest, party