Tag Archives: zucchini

Everyone loves corn fritters

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Lets face it, sweet corn doesn’t win any awards for being exotic – it’s not fancy and it’s not gourmet. But that’s part of it’s beauty – it’s a simple vegetable. In Australia, spring is the season for sweetcorn, and at $1 a cob it makes for budget cooking. And what better dish to make with your cheaply purchased corn? Corn fritters of course.

 

Everyone loves corn fritters – even my kids will eat them. Though, when serving my kids corn fritters, I have to call them “pancakes with corn”, but hey, if it means they eat something with vegetables and don’t complain about it while they’re doing it, I’ll call them anything they want me to.

 

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Why make them?

Because they’re fast and easy.

The cooked corn kernels burst in your mouth like pockets of sweetness.

They taste so good when eaten hot from the pan.

They are light and fluffy and good for a snack.

 

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Back when I could still claim to be a chef (it’s been four years since I’ve worked in a professional kitchen), every cafe had corn fritters on the menu. You could get corn fritters with crispy bacon, corn fritters with spicy chilli jam, corn fritters with smoked salmon and poached eggs… Argh… too many corn fritters. Now days, those repetitive weekends stuck behind hot stoves are just a distant memory. Corn fritters have found their way back into my repertoire. I can even smile while I make them, and eat them.

 

I’ve learnt a thing or two about corn fritters –

1. Use fresh corn, cut straight from the cob.

2.  Whisk the egg whites separately, so the batter is light and fluffy.

3. Use a high ratio of corn to flour, so you actually taste the corn.

4. Cook fritters in olive oil and butter so they get a crispy edge and cook with a golden colour.

 

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Sweetcorn and zucchini fritters – makes about 12 fritters

Ingredients

2 cobs of sweet corn

1 zucchini, coarsely grated

6 green spring onions (scallions), sliced thinly

1/2 cup wholemeal self raising flour

1/2 tsp caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

2 eggs, separated

50g melted butter, plus extra for frying

1/4 cup milk

Olive oil, for frying

 

Remove the kernels from the cobs of corn, place in a large bowl. Add grated zucchini and sliced green spring onions. Add flour, sugar, salt and white pepper.

 

Place egg yolks and milk in melted butter and whisk to combine. Pour this mixture on to the corn and stir till combined.

 

In a separate clean bowl, whisk egg whites till soft peaks form. Add to corn and flour mixture and fold gently till well combined.

 

Heat a large non-stick fry pan with 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter. Cook the fritters in batches of four or five. Spoon fritter mix into pan and cook on a low heat till golden on both sides.  You can keep the fritters warm in a low oven whilst cooking remaining fritters.

 

Fritters are best eaten whilst still hot. Don’t know what to serve them with? – try avocado mash and salad.

Zucchini and red lentil soup

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Soup is the perfect meal. It’s warm, nourishing and easy to prepare.

 

Soup can be eaten all year long. In winter I eat hearty soups like pea and ham cooked with smoked pork bones or Moroccan lamb and lentil. In spring I eat chicken broths and Vietnamese pho. In summer I enjoy light vegetable broths and when Autumn hits I tend towards rich minestrones and thick vegetable soups.

 

This zucchini and red lentil soup is a staple in my kitchen at any time of year. I love it for it’s simplicity. The vegetable components of the soup, the onion, garlic, ginger and zucchini are all grated, for quick easy preparation. Turmeric and cumin flavour the soup with a simple Indian flavour and the red lentils cook to a soft consistency.  And the best part – there’s no blending!

 

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For the zucchini, you’ll need a grater with a coarse grating side to it. If you don’t have one, it’s a great tool to own. I coarsely grate zucchini for my stir-fry, my risotto, and my pasta dishes. It’s a quick way of getting a green vegetable into a meal with out fiddly slicing and dicing. The ginger and garlic are easily grated on a microplane grater – a fantastic tool to have in the draw.

 

The best way to finish this soup is with a dollop of yoghurt. I tend to use a “Greek style” yoghurt as my all rounder, though natural yoghurt does the job too.  A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh herb, a dollop of yoghurt, it’s the prefect finish to this beautiful vegetable soup. Enjoy!

 

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Zucchini and red lentil soup

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive or grape seed oil

1 onion, grated and squeezed lightly

2 tbsp grated ginger

4 cloves garlic, grated

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

1 ¼ cups red lentils

2 ltr vegetable stock

Cracked black pepper

3 zucchini

2 tbsp chopped coriander stem

To serve

Greek style yoghurt

Chopped coriander

Extra virgin olive oil

 

Heat a soup pot with the oil, add onion, garlic, ginger and spices, cook gently for 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, red lentils and cracked pepper, bring to the boil and cook gently for 20 minutes.

 

Coarsely grate zucchini. Add to soup with chopped coriander stem, simmer a further 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning before serving.

 

To serve, ladle into bowls, add a dollop of yoghurt, a sprinkle of chopped coriander and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

 

Handy tip – Portion and freeze left over soup for next week when there’s no enthusiasm for cooking.