sweetcorn fritters with crème fraîche and hot smoked salmon My friend Rachael rescues retired battery hens, who like jaded showgirls arrive with tattered feathers and fading plumage. She seems to name her birds after Victorian parlour maids (Gladys, Betty, Mildred and Flo), who once they have acclimatised to their new life, learn to roost and overcome their fear of the outdoors, to roam across her property, where they like nothing more than to gorge on sweetcorn and chase marshmallows up and down the lawn! Rachael and I have a deal: she provides me with fresh eggs and I provide her with tinned sweetcorn for the girls. As a result, I have got in the habit of buying tinned or frozen sweetcorn when I see it on special offer and as a result, I am awash with the stuff. A recent pantry clearout uncovered a few tins that I had forgotten about, so I decided to use up some of my stash in making a quick and easy supper - sweetcorn fritters with a little hot smoked salmon. While these fritters are much better with fresh or even frozen sweetcorn, the tinned versions will just be less crunchy. I also like to make these fritters as little corn cake canapés for parties. However, my fritter makings skills can be uneven. Well my fritters are very uneven and sometimes a little too runny - I produce a pancake studded with sweetcorn rather than a sweetcorn fritter held together in a light batter. So when I want to make canapés I either make one very large pancake (more like a frittata) or bake the whole lot in a Swiss roll tin and top off in the grill. I then use small pastry cutters to cut out perfect circles. There will be a little wastage but frankly I regard this as the cook's treat! Serves 4-6 as a starter or light supper, 12 canapés Skill level: Easy ingredients: 75g plain flour ½ tsp baking powder 2 x large eggs, separated 3tbs milk (optional) 1 x tin of sweetcorn (about 300g) sweetcorn 1 x red chilli, very finely chopped olive oil 1 x tub crème fraîche 200g hot smoked salmon chives directions: Take half the sweetcorn and roughly chop this. You can do this in a blender but it needs to be rough rather than a puree. Separate the eggs. Put the flour and baking powder in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the egg yolks and mix to a smooth batter. Whisk the egg whites and fold into the batter. Add the sweetcorn and chilli and set aside for 30 minutes. Check the consistency as it needs to be a stiff batter holding the sweetcorn together. Add a little milk if the consistency is too stiff. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot but not smoking. Drop in tablespoonful of the mixture into the frying pan. As it cooks flatten a little. Cook for about 30 seconds to one minute before flipping over and cooking on the other side for about one minute. Keep warm on a low heat in the oven while making more fritters. Serve topped with a dollop of crème fraîche, hot smoked salmon and chives. tips: I like to sharpen the flavour of the crème fraîche with pomegranate molasses, lemon or lime juice, or some finely chopped pickled jalapeño peppers. Replace the chopped chilli with Thai sweet chilli sauce. Replace half the flour with either semolina or polenta. Instead of creating fritters, grease a Swiss roll tin and add the batter. Bake until set and then finish under the grill until lightly browned. Use a pastry cutter to cut out perfect circles for canapés. There will be some wastage but that's the cook's treat. These fritters freeze very well.