George Bluth Senior’s Corn Ballers, Minus the 3rd-Degree Burns (I Hope)

One of the defining characteristics of Arrested Development, that paragon of brilliant sitcom humor brought to unmatched levels, was its use of recurring jokes and themes. Loyal viewers were continuously rewarded when hilarious lines or goofs were repeated down the line, including Tobias’s unintended double entendres, the family’s inability to do math, and my favorite, everyone’s ridiculous chicken impressions.

Another amazing recurring bit in the Arrested canon is the Cornballer, George Sr.’s popular but really dangerous invention. The Cornballer, of course, made Cornballs, likely delicious fried treats (probably spelled with a ‘z’ like treatz), but it also severely burned its users.

This devil machine was so dangerous and poorly made that George Sr. was a wanted man in Mexico. The show’s genius creators found hilarious ways to pepper the Cornballer into episodes throughout the show’s run, from Michael eating a Cornball in the stair car to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character Maggie owning a Cornballer. If Cornballs are good enough for the Veep, they are good enough for me. Let’s make some! And, please, let’s try not to burn ourselves. I do that enough.


Note: We’re going to learn how to use flaxseed as an egg replacer! I know the kids are excited! Also, using flax makes these pretty much health food.


  • 1/2C all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2C cornmeal
  • 1t salt (fried things must be salty)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2C frozen corn kernels
  • 4T olive oil
  • 1/4C unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1T flax for one flax egg (see below)
  • lots of oil for frying


1.  First, we’re going to make flax eggs. It sounds gross, I know, but flaxseed makes an excellent, easy, and healthy egg replacer for all manner of vegan recipes. For one flax egg, you take about 1 tablespoon of ground flax (you can buy flax meal or grind your seeds with a coffee grinder) and mix with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Whisk it together until it becomes gooey. If you have a small blendery thing like a Magic Bullet, use that to mix it; it’ll goopify faster.

2.  Mix your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

3.  Mix your oil, milk, and flax egg together and add it to the dry ingredients. Add the corn and mix everything together well.

4.  Heat a large stockpot over high heat filled about 1/4inch high with oil. (Try regular olive oil (not extra virgin), or sunflower or safflower.) Roll your batter into balls and drop into the oil. Cover the pot with your lid, and cook for about 6-8 minutes on medium-high heat.

5.  **Turn heat down to low while you flip the balls onto their other sides. Important! Otherwise the hot oil will bubble up and hurt you. Also, wear oven mitts on both hands. And long-sleeves. And goggles!!! Once flipped, cover the pot, turn the heat back up to medium-high, and cook for another 6-8 minutes.

6.  Check the balls every so often while cooking to ensure that they don’t burn.

7.  If you have a deep-fryer, you should use it! I’m not allowed to own one because of the aforementioned tendency to burn myself (not as funny as blueing oneself).

8.  Let the balls cool before eating!

Voila! I hope you enjoy these, and I hope you didn’t hurt yourself. I shared these at a dinner, and my dad announced that they were “f-ing awesome.” I’ve never really fried stuff before. It was fun, and delicious. “I’ve opened a door here that I regret.”

See you next time! Annyong!