I was ever so pleased when I discovered that this month's Daring Cooks challenge was to make fritters. The last few have been quite, well, challenging. I know that's the whole point - to extend yourself and add to your culinary skills - but once in a while it's nice to have something quick and simple that you can do some serious improv on with what is on hand rather than having to dedicate four hours of your already-busy weekend to locating ingredients and preparing and cooking something quite complex.
Don't get me wrong - I do like to learn new things and make impressive dishes, but this month's challenge is more my style of cooking, and I generally leave the fancy stuff to the realms of baked goods. Like the time I made Sweetapolita's Ruffle Cake. I think I also enjoyed the fact that I didn't feel like I needed to read every single word on the information sheet in order to successfully complete the recipe, or freak the heck out about doing somethign wrong. Which I think means I will always be placed squarely in the "cook" corner, and not the "chef" one!
The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!
I'm on a bit of a health kick at present so I wanted to make something full of vegies but also not light on flavour. Audax and Lisa provided a list of common binders for patties, and I decided to go with sweet potato as well as some blended-up chick peas.
I spent a week or so thinking about what to put in these. Not non-stop, obviously (although, given how often I think about food it wouldn't be entirely surprising if that had been the case!), but there was a certain flavour I was going for - there's this Indian stall at the St Andrews Market (a hippie craft/farmer's/trash n treasure market near where I live in Melbourne) that makes these wraps that have this sort of roasted vegetable fritter type thing, wrapped up in Roti and served with chutney and salad. I thought I'd give the Roti a miss (only cos I was cooking for myself and mum, and mum wouldn't be able to eat them because of the gluten, which would leave me to eat an entire packet of Roti... which, let's face it, would be delicious, but not really in line with my current health kick!).
The ingredients are probably fairly flexible - as I'm sure all the other Daring COoks discovered, making patties/fritters is definitely one of those add stuff "until it looks right" propositions!
1 small-medium sweet potato, peeled and steamed/boiled until soft
1 can (400g-ish) chick peas, drained
2 medium zucchinis, grated, liquid squeezed out to within an inch of its life
1 medium carrot, grated, liquid squeezed out
1/2 medium brown onion, grated, liquid squeezed out (that'll test ya! Or, see below note on blending)
2 cloves garlic, you guessed it, grated!
Sweet paprika (I added about a tablespoon but add to taste)
Moroccan seasoning (I never do spell that correctly... I used about a teaspooon, but again, to taste)
Blend steamed sweet potato, chickpeas and egg (and if you were too scared to grate the onion and okay with your patties being sloppy, blend that too) in a food processor until it forms a smooth paste.
Add it to the grated vegetables and smoosh about with your hand until combined and the different vegetables are evenly distributed. Add spices and continue to smoosh mixture until well mixed.
Divide into six to eight balls.
Heat olive oil in frypan (I used a cast iron one) and place half the patties in the pan. Squash them so they are about 2cm thick. Fry until browned then flip. Continue cooking until the second side is cooked. Repeat with the other half of the raw patties.
Serve with a garden salad and mango chutney such as my BFF Kirsti made me for Christmas.
Tastes good cold, too! Which is just as well, because now that I can't drive for six months (no, I didn't lose my licence! It's a medical exclusion) and therefore have to catch the bus to Barham on Sunday nights, I have to eat dinner on the bus (without the driver noticing - no food allowed on the bus!). The good thing about catching the bus is that I have plenty of time to blog on my way up. Which makes me feel a little queasy after a while, but I'm beginning to think that's more to do with needing glasses... and now I'm rambling... so, ENJOY!