Food for Thought with Suzanne Dunaway
If there is anything tastier that can be made in a short time, with few exotic ingredients, that is, almost anything that falls to hand from the larder or fridge, it is a fritter. They are irresistible.
Crispy, savory, made in individual little flat pancakes that can be frozen or stored for a day or two in the fridge or the recipe doubled to accommodate a change in the number of dinner guests or family visitors, fritters are the ticket to a smooth ride in the kitchen during holidays.
My favorites are made with sweet onion, courgettes, and any interesting leftover you might have around, such as cooked potatoes, carrots or even a spoon or two of ground grilled almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts. You can be as adventuresome as you wish, keeping in mind that fritters are best made close to eating time although they do withstand a quick heat in a microwave or a short stint in a warm oven until they grace your table.
I will warn you that as I cook these little cakes, it takes all of my will power not to eat a couple as they come out of the pan so you may wish to make more, depending on your guests’ appetites.
I will add that I have used a spoon of bran, oatmeal, or farro flakes in addition to the flour, depending on my mood.
Basic fritter mix
- 2 large zucchine, sliced into several pieces
- 1 large raw sweet onion, or three spring onions with stems, cut into several pieces
- 1 small potato, peeled or unpeeled, chopped coarse
- Olive oil for cooking
- You may use garlic but it is best sautéed first in a little oil or butter
Basic additions for all fritters:
- 2 tablespoons flour, white or wheat, just enough to keep things together
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- A teaspoon of butter
In the bowl of a food processor, put the basic vegetables and pulse until they are in small dice. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add a pinch of whatever spice you choose for flavor, the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and egg and mix well. Everything should hang together and not separate.
Heat a large flat skillet and add ¼ cup olive oil. Using a soup spoon, scoop up the fritter batter and place the spoonsful into the hot oil, flattening slightly to make a nice little cake. I have a large pan and can get 6 or 7 little cakes into it, but leave room for turning them over.
Cook the fritters on medium heat and when the edges brown, turn them over to brown well on the other side. They should be firm.
Serve as soon as you can, if there are any left….
You may add a little curcuma, curry powder, a little nutmeg, chili powder, smoked paprika, which adds color to the browning, even nutmeg, but go easy on spices. Fresh parsley, coriander, a tiny bit of rosemary or thyme are good additions, too, but in small quantities. A spoon of two of sweet red or yellow peppers, chopped very fine, make a nice holiday color in the fritters
All content and recipes are copyright of Suzanne Dunaway.