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Corn fritters with honey dijon dipping sauce. (Carrie Snyder/The Forum)

Tasty corn fritters from local food source

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Life Mitchell,South Dakota 57301 http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/0B3lt5BEXOJCUbGhQSWg3NDhCVzg.jpg?itok=3TKm2gQR
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Tasty corn fritters from local food source
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Tony and I read about food every day. It's our livelihood, and we care about what we eat and serve both at home and in our restaurant. With so much information disseminated on the web, in our newspapers and on our TVs, it's easy to see why many people have become concerned about our food and its production here at home and abroad.

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How harmful are pesticides and GMOs? What is the difference between organic farming and conventional farming? Is a tractor the same thing as a combine? Is our chicken really going to come from China?

The women from Common Ground have touched on something by reaching out to non-ag folks to establish personal relationships between both cultures.

Eating is one of the most personal experiences we have as humans, and we have to do it several times a day. By starting the conversation, these farm women give the rest of us an opportunity to meet a food producer and ask our questions so that we can make informed decisions about the foods we eat.

Last week, 110 non-ag folks from Fargo, N.D., and Cass County turned out to meet some area farmers, tour plots of 11 different crops and learn the difference between a tractor and a combine. They also had the opportunity to taste foods made with those 11 crops, and one of the most popular appetizers we served was a recipe for corn fritters fried in canola oil, created by our Sarello's executive chef, Ben Walker.

Chef Ben's fritters are delicious, easy to make and, as one guest told me, "Surprisingly full of flavor for a corn fritter."

Agriculture is the heartbeat of our state and will continue to be long after the oil boom goes bust. If you have questions about your food, take some time to get to know a farmer. You won't be sorry, and you might even get to ride a combine.

Chef Ben's Corn Fritters

Makes: 24-30 fritters

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon yellow corn meal

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

3 eggs

2 cups fresh sweet yellow corn (approximately three ears)

Canola oil for frying

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, corn meal, sugar, cayenne pepper, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and milk, then add to the flour mixture and stir or whisk until well combined. Add the corn and gently fold to incorporate. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

Heat 4 inches of oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer to 350 degrees (use a deep-fry thermometer for accuracy). Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to drop the batter into the oil, and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt as desired. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.

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