Monday, 4 May 2009

Today I am eating: courgette fritters

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I can’t remember how I first started making courgette fritters. I think I might have seen a recipe for them in a magazine. Anyway, I have been experimenting with them for a few months now, and the results were always very slightly disappointing. They were not nasty, but there was no va va voom. There was a terrible suspicion of blandness which hung over them.

The fritter seems, as far as I can tell, to come from the Near East – there are Libyan, Greek and Turkish versions, involving, variously, feta, onion, breadcrumbs, coriander, and mint. As usual, I refused to follow the given recipes (too bolshie and contrary), and embarked on inventing my very own. The disadvantage of this is the element of hit and miss. The advantage is that when you finally do get it right, you feel a saintly sense of achievement, in which I admit I am still basking.


Here is my definitive recipe, which was today’s lunch:

Take –
Two eggs
Half a courgette, grated
50 grams of cheddar cheese, grated
Good pinch of Malden Salt, and then another little one for luck
One dried chilli, finely sliced
Handful of watercress, chopped
One third of a cup of self-raising flour (when I say a cup, I mean a teacup, not a big old coffee mug)
And then some olive oil for frying

Whisk up the eggs, stir in all the other ingredients. You should have a nice thick batter. If it looks too runny, just add a tiny bit more flour. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan at just above medium (I use six on my stove). When it is hot, drop in tablespoonfuls of the mixture, spreading it out a little each time. You want the fritters to be like little fat Scotch pancakes, but not so thick that they don’t cook in the middle. Give them two minutes each side – they should be golden and slightly crispy round the edges.

You can play around with this – you might like to add a little more cheese and a little less chilli. Sometimes I throw in some chopped basil, although I am not sure the flavour quite comes through the cooking process.

These are lovely for a quick lunch. They go especially well with a tomato salsa – just finely dice a couple of fat ripe tomatoes and a quarter cucumber and a red pepper, (the smaller the dice the better the salsa, so it is worth taking the trouble), add a good pinch of salt, a glug of olive oil, chopped basil and parsley, and a squeeze of lemon or lime, either works well. If you want a stronger flavour, add a very finely chopped garlic clove and a finely sliced red chilli, but you may find that this more robust salsa is better on its own with tortilla chips, because it can overwhelm the flavour of the fritters. And there you are - delicious, all the food groups represented, ready in ten minutes flat, and quite shockingly economical. What more can you ask of a dish?

11 comments:

  1. Just stumbled onto your blog and had to comment! Love the name of your blog!

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  2. ModernMom - thank you so much. And welcome. I always get very excited to have a new reader. So glad you like the pig.

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  3. Dear Tania,
    My mouth is watering but I think you might have forgotten the courgettes in the recipe. How much do you use and are they grated (they appear to be in your picture).
    Thanks in anticipation,
    Miss W

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  4. Sounds divine. My mouth is watering!! Think they'll go well with something I have in my fridge called 'Thai Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce'. Might have to go and buy some courgettes tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  5. mmm.... yummy, nice blog too!

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  6. Ah, ah, ah everyone - I HAVE forgotten the courgettes. What an idiot. Forgive me. Have gone back and edited the mistake. A thousand apologies.

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  7. My favourite courgette recipe is not really a recipe at all. Think it's a Jamie/Hugh hybrid and requires the first tiny courgettes of summer - complete with flowers. The batter is a simple frittata - flour & beer, flour & fizz, flour & white wine or flour & elderflower cordial with salt and pepper. Slice and leave on flowers, dip and fry quickly in light olive oil (they always say deep fry but not necessary). Truly delicious but a bit early yet, we still have to plant out our courgettes but they grow like weeds - idiot proof food all summer.

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  8. Yum! I MISS a) having a kitchen and b)a garden. I need a home. LLGxx

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  9. I make this yummy recipe quite a lot as a side dish, but i think you might have the proportions better than I do, as mine can often be quite sloppy - more like a courgette bechamel on occasion - no less lovely but certainly not crisp. Have to admit, I do particularly love garlic and feta in mine - but without i really like it with curries when bread or rice is just too much.

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  10. I also make courgette fritters - from a Stella Magazine recipe and use rice flour and feta cheese. the feta is deeelicious.

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  11. wonderful recipe. thank you for sharing.

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