Thursday, September 8, 2011

Double Take: Zucchini, Ham, Basil, and Ricotta Fritters

(To the tune of 'The Song that Never Ends')

*We made these fritters on a whim,
Chopped, stirred, and cooked and only then,
Realized we started making them not knowing what they'd be.
And we'll continue thinking how to change them for you see...*

What do you get when you cross a pancake with a quiche?

Answer: A veggie fritter.

When I think of a fritter I think of those fried fruit pies. This is not what is meant here. Its more like a stuffed pancake. You can stuff it with whatever you like but I'd recommend adding more flavor. In fact, I added more flavor to half the batter but it needs further amplification. Zucchini is good but it doesn't have a ton of flavor on its own. If you put zucchini and a mild flavored cheese into flour, you still don't have a ton of flavor. I'd rate this recipe as ok but I wouldn't repeat it without modification. To be honest, I was initially disappointed in the base flavors of it. I was expecting more somehow. I tried it again today at lunch though and it was great. Perhaps I was too tired to enjoy it last night. This recipe is crazy easy to modify and has a lot of potential for incorporating zucchini and other vegetables into your life. I pumped one half up with some roasted garlic but don't stop there. I'll list what we did and include suggestions as well.

Huge zucchini fritter. Its the size of a plate!

Zucchini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritters (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Prep Time: 10 minutes (longer if you roast the garlic and include that)
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes (add extra time if roasting the garlic)

Serves: 4-6 as a side


1 cup self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
2 eggs
20 grams (3/4 ounces) butter, melted [I translated this as 1 1/2 tablespoons]
1/3 cup (2 1/2 fluid ounces) milk
Sea salt and cracked black pepper (I sprinkled ~ 1/4 tsp of each)
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
*1/2 c. diced onion (I suggest cooking this in a pan before adding it to the mixture)
1 c. ham, torn (I suggest cooking this in a pan before adding it to the mixture.)
1 bulb of roasted garlic (Roast for 1 hr at 350 F)
1 zucchini (courgette), cut into long, thin strips (2 c. grated or finely diced zucchini)
*1/2 - 1 tsp fresh rosemary or curry powder or other spices you enjoy

4 Tbsp Vegetable oil for shallow frying (You could use bacon grease here for more flavor.)

How To:

Place the flour eggs, butter, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Fold through the ricotta, basil, ham and zucchini, squished out cloves of garlic, onions, and any other desired spices. Place two tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add half of the mixture to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until bubbles appear on the surface. Set aside. (To flip, I recommend setting a large plate over the skillet, then rotating the skillet. Slide the inverted fritter back onto the pan (uncooked side down) and cook to finish.)

Add another two tablespoons of the oil and repeat with the remaining batter. Cut into wedges to serve.

Garlic on the left, no garlic on the right, tomato risotto in the back seat.

I liked it better today at lunch than last night but I think I was just tired. I think it would be better with the starred adjustments but its good as is. I was really shocked that they were like a doughy filled crepe or pancake. I hope I've explained this factor well enough that no one else would be shocked by it. Its ok once you wrap your head around what it is though.

Don't forget to see what Mel thought at Fabulously Fun Food!

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