Zucchini fritters

A fantastic vegetarian dinner option, zucchini and haloumi fritters with mint and dill.

Remember the time-consuming but delicious zucchini gratin? Jasper has been requesting it with increasing desperation over the last few weeks but I just didn’t have the emotional fortitude or stamina to go there. I’m blaming the relentless heat and humidity over these past months.

So when I saw a Neil Perry recipe for zucchini fritters on the SMH website I hoped I’d struck a middle ground. I’ve added some mint to my recipe and would encourage you to do the same.

These were an absolute sensation, heading straight to the pool room of family dinner winners. You could even make smaller ones as a finger food option. Don’t think the yoghurt sauce is optional – as is always the case when there’s a sauce on the side it lifts the meal from yum to YUM!

zucchini fritter mixture

Zucchini fritters
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A fantastic vegetarian dinner option
Author:
Serves: 18+ fritters
Ingredients
  • 1 kg zucchini, grated
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 200 g haloumi cheese, grated
  • 100 g stale white breadcrumbs
  • 1 heaped tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
For the yoghurt sauce
  • 1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
  • Grated zest from half a lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
For the fritters
  1. Using a food processor grate the zucchinis then toss with the salt in a colander and set in the sink to drain for an hour.
  2. Use the same grater blade to grate the haloumi which you're going to then tip into a mixing bowl
  3. Change the attachment and blitz your stale bread into fine breadcrumbs
  4. Mix the haloumi, breadcrumbs and herbs together while you wait for the zucchini
  5. In the meantime, make the yoghurt sauce by mixing the four ingredients together
  6. After an hour or so, squeeze as much liquid out of the zucchini as you can. When you think you've squeezed it all out go in for another round
  7. Mix the zucchini and the eggs in with the other ingredients
  8. You want to work quickly now
  9. Heat some oil in a pan, you want to shallow fry them, then shape the mixture into patties a bit bigger than a golf ball. You can really make them as big or as small as you like
  10. Cook for about two minutes on either side or until golden brown
  11. Serve with the yoghurt sauce.

 

 

 

Roasted sweet potato, lentil and walnut salad

A salad of spiced roasted sweet potatoes, lentils and honey roasted walnuts

So it turns out you can makes friends with salad.

Sorry Homer.

This comes from Hetty McKinnon‘s book Community: salad recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen which I cannot recommend highly enough. It was the second one I cooked and there’s about ten others I’ve tagged. (Sidenote: she is now based in Brooklyn, NYC. Blackbird, get onto it.)

They are all designed as meals which I strongly endorse. That said, I have made them also cooked a protein on the side as while the boys are now pretty good (read: great) at eating/trying everything it’s quite confronting for them to think the salad is “it”.

My main tip for this recipe is don’t think the honey-roasted walnuts are optional. They lift the salad from salad to SALAD!. BUT – when cooking them watch them like a hawk, as in every 2 minutes, tossing them every time so the ones cooking more quickly on the edge get rotated with the ones in the middle. They will burn in an instant so be vigilant. BUT – totally worth it. I also followed Hettie’s suggestion to make double so you have leftovers to snack on. A brilliant idea indeed.

And as I say with so many of my posts, make it your own:

  • Don’t like rocket, use English spinach.
  • Use herbs you love or mix it up each time to create what feels like a whole new dish.
  • Don’t even be that exacting with the measurements for the spices, just scatter them over and go for it. I’m actually not the hugest fan of cumin (stinky sports socks anyone?) so upped the cinnamon and dialed down the cumin.
  • Don’t have any sweet potato in the house? Potatoes and/or pumpkin would work a treat.
  • This would also be fantastic with some diced streaky bacon or pancetta that you throw in with the roasting sweet potato for the last 10 minutes or so.

Roasted sweet potato, lentil and walnut salad
 
Spiced roasted sweet potato tossed with lentils and honey-roasted walnuts with a sweet viniagrette
Author:
Ingredients
For the sweet potatoes
  • 3 sweet potatoes (around 2kgs) cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tins lentils, drained (I used 1 but could easily have used two) (McKinnon uses 250g Puy lentils which she cooks for 20 minutes and then drains)
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (suggestions: mint, parsley, coriander, chives, dill, tarragon)
  • Baby rocket - around 2 cups but just go on sight
  • 50 g shaved parmesan
For the vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
For the honey-roasted walnuts
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups walnuts
Instructions
For the sweet potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Combine potatoes with spices and olive oil and season well
  3. Roast for 20-30 minutes
For the vinaigrette
  1. Combine everything in a jar and give a good shake
For the walnuts
  1. Combine the honey and spices and add some water to make a thick paste (I made this in the height of a Sydney summer so the honey was very runny and I found I didn't really need to add the water.)
  2. Toss the walnuts with the mix then spread on a baking tray lined with baking paper (less mess)
  3. Roast for 15 minutes or until the walnuts are crunchy and almost dry (Keep your eye on them and keep turn them every two minutes or so the ensure they cook evenly and don't burn. I basically work on the principal that once they had good colour they were done.)
To bring together
  1. (Because McKinnon's recipe cooks the lentils (rather than using tinned) I poured lentils, liquid and all into a bowl and cooked for a minute in the microwave to heat them up.) Then:
  2. Combine the vinaigrette with the lentils
  3. Combine the sweet potatoes, lentils (and therefore vinaigrette), half the herbs and rocket
  4. Scatter over the walnuts, remaining herbs and parmesan

 

Onward!

Corn fritters

What’s your favourite brekkie if you go out? For me it’s corn fritters, ideally with avocado, maybe sour cream and a chilli jam or roasted tomato to round it out. I also prefer the fritter to be more corn than batter and some diced capsicum is a welcome addition, as you can see from the recipe below. You can easily use tinned corn but I prefer fresh because it has that satisfying crunch.

Enjoy.

My #everyfuckingnight - corn fritters with avocado, sour cream and today's chilli jam.
My #everyfuckingnight – corn fritters with avocado, sour cream and today’s chilli jam.

Corn fritters
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (I used 6 smallish cobs for this)
  • ½ cup red capsicum, diced (about ½ a large capsicum)
  • ½ cup sliced spring onions (about 4-5)
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix the eggs with the milk
  2. While whisking scatter in the flour in a steady stream - this stops it getting lumpy
  3. Then gently fold in the baking powder, salt and paprika
  4. Add the corn, capsicum and coriander
  5. Heat a frypan over medium heat and add a little oil
  6. Dollop in heaped tablespoons of the batter and cook for a couple of minutes on either side
  7. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, roasted tomatoes, bacon, chilli jam... you get the idea.

 

It looks like a bucket of sick but it's really tasty (corn fritter batter)
It looks like a bucket of sick but it’s really tasty (corn fritter batter)

Onward!

Sago pudding with mango and lime

We are hurtling officially towards summer down here (ie tomorrow) and to be frank I am not pleased. I do not do hot weather and even moreso, humidity. I was truly born in the wrong country although Tasmania would probably do quite nicely. Beautiful countryside, lower temps, less humidity and a great food culture. Let’s sit with that for a moment shall we?

The only redeeming feature for me in these hotter months, apart from washing drying on the line in an hour rather than a day, is the food. Stone fruits, mangos, papaya, crisp Asian salads loaded with lime, mint, coriander and chilli and cooking outside.

Actually Sydney’s climate means I could/should use the BBQ year round but I always tend to forget it’s there once the heater is in action. The main reason I like cooking outside is I don’t have to clean down the cooktop. Yes, I am that lazy.

This dessert is fairly and squarely placed in my summer repertoire and all the boys love it. Along with the black sticky rice it sits in relatively high rotation, topped with mango or other summer fruits, drizzled with a palm sugar syrup, extra coconut cream and lime to give it zing.

Some people call it sago, some call it tapioca, we call it frogs eggs. There are myriad recipes for its use but this is my go-to.

Frog's eggs with coconut, palm sugar syrup, mango and lime. Giddyup #everyfuckingnight
Frog’s eggs with coconut, palm sugar syrup, mango and lime. Giddyup #everyfuckingnight

Tapioca pudding with mango and lime
 
The perfect summer dessert served with fresh tropical fruit
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sago
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 200 g palm sugar
  • 400 ml water
  • Mango, cut into slices or cubes
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and stir in the tapioca
  2. Cook for 15 minutes or until the beads are basically see-through, stirring regularly (this is important as they are pesky little things that like sticking to the bottom of the saucepan)
  3. Strain in a fine-holed sieve and rinse well under cold water (you'll still lose some but don't fret)
  4. Place in a bowl and stir through half the coconut cream and half the palm sugar syrup (see below)
  5. Chill for an hour or more
  6. To make the palm sugar syrup combine the palm sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil
  7. Simmer until it is thick and syrupy
  8. To serve, spoon into a bowl, top with fruit, drizzle over some of the remaining coconut cream and sugar syrup and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime.
  9. For complete show-pony status you can initially pour them into moulds and then turn out when serving, fancy like.

 

Spring Rolls

So I made these a year ago and then promptly forgot I had ever done such a thing. Bizarrely last week Felix said, remember when you made spring rolls, and I was all, NEVER! Then, serendipitously I fell upon the very post where I talked about them.

Start of spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight
Start of spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight

These are easily vegetarian – just omit the chicken mince (derr) – or turned into a pork version by using pork instead of chicken mince (double derr).

Yes, rolling 40 spring rolls is painful but this is where having 100 kids becomes useful. Sure they might not look perfect (there are spring roll perfectionists who insist they must be tighly and very evenly rolled – no hanging over the edges – so they don’t absorb too much oil) but I only shallow fry them and they sure turned out a treat.

Chicken spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight!
Chicken spring rolls for #everyfuckingnight!
Spring Rolls with cucumber dipping sauce
 
Sensational spring rolls you can have with meat or vego
Author:
Ingredients
For the spring rolls
  • 10-15 shitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 100g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 500g chicken or pork mince (optional)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 4-5 Chinese wombok cabbage leaves, finely shredded
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
For the cucumber dipping sauce
  • 160 ml water
  • 120 ml white vinegar
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 to 1½ large telegraph cucumber
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cover the noodles with boiling water and sit for 6 minutes or until soft
  2. Drain really really well - you want to try and avoid a soggy filling
  3. Combine all the vegetable ingredients in a large bowl - mix it all together, have a taste, add some more mushrooms or carrot or cabbage if needed/desired
  4. Heat a wok, add a dash of oil and then fry the mince until browned and any liquid that cooks out of it has evaporated
  5. Add all the vegetables and sauces and stir until well combined and cooked through
  6. Let it cool a bit until it's easy to handle
  7. Take a spring roll sheet and then follow the instructions on the packet! (how's that for methodology!) There are also great you tube clips off it if needed.
  8. Heat about 1cm of oil in a frypan then cook in batches over a mod-high heat - they will only take about 3-4 mins
For the cucumber dipping sauce
  1. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil and the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat
  2. Cut the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the flesh the cut up into small dice
  3. Combine and leave to cool.

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