Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vegetable Fritters

This was a phenomenal lunch. Really. So much so, in fact, that it's roused me from my near-holiday stupor for long enough to post about it. I know, I've been Missing In Action lately. I have one week of German class left before our Christmas holidays, which consequently means that I have absolutely no interest whatsoever. It's a bit hard to deal with at times, but rest assured, I've been indulging in plenty of comfort eating. ;)

Here's the healthy part of the meal. The tomatoes are clearly grown in a greenhouse at this time of year, which means that they're not overly flavourful, but they're still a refreshing bite in a salad. However, I think I'm going to have to give up on them entirely, and switch to canned or passata for recipes from now on. Oh, and for the record, I'm not usually one to add tinned corn to a salad; that's a very, um, 'European' thing to do. Frozen corn kernels don't appear to be known to freezer sections around here, so I have to use up leftover corn immediately. Here, I used a cup in the fritters, so the rest went into my salad. This place is breaking down my resistance...

I like my batter for fritters to be pretty highly spiced. I used about a teaspoon of dried chilli, a teaspoon of thyme, as much pepper as I could be bothered grinding into it, and a little salt. I don't always bother adding salt to my fritters, because the first thing I do after removing them from the pan is to give them a liberal sprinkling of salt. So you're more than welcome to omit it. I'm not that concerned about salt.

This mixture needs to be thick enough to hold the fritters together without running off, but not so thick that you could bake it like a cake. It's a very forgiving mixture, so you can always add more flour if you make it too liquid. This is another point at which I lament the lack of self-raising flour in this country... baking powder just doesn't act as evenly. Still, these are impossible to stuff up, I promise.

Once the shredded vegetables and corn are mixed into the batter, it's time to fry. How large your fritters are depends entirely on your personal preference. I like my fritters quite large, so that I can spend less time cooking and more time eating; these are my reliable option for when I want something hot and filling in less than 10 minutes time.

As you can see, this fritter is pretty large. It's always fun to make a lot of small fritters, too; you can keep them warm in a hot oven, but they'll lose their crunch, so I prefer to make them and eat them all at once. I'm also not averse to a fritter that covers my entire plate; the way I see it is that they're time-economical. Which is definitely what I need these days; I have so much to do right now that I feel panicked just thinking about it. I'm going to have to write this post faster...!

Vegetable Fritters

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 zucchini, grated
1/2 large carrot, grated
soymilk (I think I used about 1 & 1/2 cups? I don't measure)
1 tsp chilli or cayenne
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper

In a bowl, mix flour, spices and soymilk to make a batter. Add grated vegetables and corn, and mix thoroughly.
Fry fritters in oil until crispy.
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
These go nicely with a salad to create a full meal, especially using pumpkinseed oil as a dressing, and I recommend lightly pickled vegetables too; I had beets and a couple of crunchy pickles to accompany. At home in Australia I always ate these with chunks of avocado and chilli sauce, but I've also decided that I'm not averse to BBQ sauce as an accompaniment, either.

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