~ John ~
Two weekends ago we bolted out of bed, at the crack of dawn, and hit the road to Madison, Wisconsin. We went to the nation’s largest, all-produce, farmer’s market. Normally this trek takes about 3 hours, however since we were so excited and early, it only took 2.25 hours.
Even though the weather was a little gray and wet there were several folks walking through the state capital grounds. The UW Badgers were having a home game and that fed the traffic volume.
The square surrounding the capital building had plenty of Midwest produce, chili peppers, artesian bread and squeaky cheese curds. It was refreshing to see so many folks carrying bags of fresh produce that would end up at the family table later that day/week.
We bought extra delicious sweet corn and tomatoes and Mary made corn fritters with thick slices of tomatoes and a lime aioli (recipe follows).
After the Madison farmer’s market we headed southwest to Monroe. Like most people, we cut out articles from the Sunday travel section specific to our geographical area and plan a future trip. We cut out a section on WI cheese last year and even took out the Rand McNally road atlas map and flagged the towns in the article, then we set it in the idea bin and ……waited.
We stopped in Monroe because of Baumgartner’s cheese deli/bar. We ate some brats and a reuben sandwich and learned a little local lore from the bartender, but we weren’t daring enough to try the Limburger cheese. The beer on tap was from the New Glarus Brewery, Spotted Cow. It has a great crispy lager taste but it’s cloudy due to the fact that they tip their hat to the local farmer by adding corn to the brewing process. It is only available in WI so if you come across some in your travels through WI, pick-up a six-pack.
Corny Corn Fritters
In large mixing bowl combine:
1/2 Cup Cornmeal
1/2 Cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Corn Kernels
Stir and set aside.
In another bowl stir to combine:
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
Combine both dry and wet ingredients and stir just to combine. Do not over-mix.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan and drizzle a little oil in and drop fritter batter in by the tablespoon. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side or until a nice golden brown.
1/3 Cup Light Mayo
2-3 Tbsp Lime Juice
1-2 tsp minced Garlic
Whisk and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Serve fritters stacked with thick slices of tomato and some fresh basil leaves, then top each stack with the Lime Aioli.