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Aug 25, 2008 05:05 AM

I love fritters

I really, really do.

While I will eat pretty much anything described as a fritter when out and about, at home, I tend to make veggie versions, and fry in a little bit of olive oil in a skillet, rather than deep fry (so much splatter, so much oil - I'd rather pay others to do it for me). My ideal fritter is soft in the middle, and crisp on the outside.

Have been experimenting with semolina as a crumbing agent, with good results.

Currently in rotation:
arancini - leftover risotto formed into balls, piece of cheese on the inside, floured, egged, crumbed, fried
fried tomatoes - egged and crumbed and fried. Green or ripe (from a recent discussion on this board)
corn fritters
pea falafels
rice fritters - either leftover rice, or rice cooked in leftover vegetable soup, with added flavourings (onion, garlic, herbs, whatever) bound with egg into patties, crumbed and fried

I'm hoping to figure out potato rosti, pumpkin fritters and pasta fritters in the near future.

any other recipes/ideas to share?

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  1. come on - no other fritter enthusiasts out there?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gooseberry

      We can throw down on fritters but.... I just really don't like to deep fry. I have successfully browned fritterish things in a high temp oven spritzed with pam.
      Most recently: I made steamed dumplings and there was no room left in the basket so with the last 2 skins I made egg rolls, spritzed, baked and they were good.

    2. gooseberry, i love fritters (fried patties -- how can one go wrong?!)

      with your corn fritters, do you just use flour, or have you ever added some fine-grind yellow corn meal or masa? they are good with a little cheese, or crab, or pimento.

      when she used to cook, my mom made salmon patties, but added green onions and fresh corn kernels (she used flour and egg as the binder).

      you make ripe tomato fritters? lots of bread crumbs? onions? like a little fried panzanella: yum!

      to gild the lily, i love remoulade or roasted red pepper aioli as dressings.

      5 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        Hi Alkapal

        I use a mixture of flour and cornmeal for corn fritters. I find too much flour (unless we're talking more flapjack than fritter here) makes them a bit too gummy, and too much cornmeal makes them too gritty. Key ingredient is fresh corn off the cob.

        The fried tomatoes come from this discussion:
        There's something beautiful about a room temp, juicy tomato encased in a hot, crunchy crust. There, semolina is my preferred crumbage!

        We had good success with dipping fritters in teh herbed aioli from the tomato sandwich thread, but usually I use some thick buglarian yoghurt with things mixed in, or SO likes to make a little yoghurt-mayo-sweet-chili-sauce-hot-sauce-chutney combo for sweet-spicy-tangy dipping. I imagine a romesco would also be awesome.

        1. re: Gooseberry

          have you tried a touch of cayenne in corn fritters? Yum!

          1. re: Cowprintrabbit

            I have. It's a great flavour pairing. I also like dried mustard, or smoked paprika, as substitutions.

        2. re: alkapal

          My mom made the same salmon patties but she used cream cheese as the binder. So good!

        3. I'm not too keen on fritters myself, though I do make ricotta-orange fritters and bean sprout fritters with shrimp on occasion.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            Ricotta Orange Fritters? Sound Lovely... a recipe, perchance???

            1. re: ideabaker

              3 eggs, lightly beaten
              1 tsp. orange zest
              1 tbsp. orange juice
              16 oz. ricotta
              1/2 c. all-purpose flour
              1/2 c. sugar
              2 tsp. baking powder
              1/8 tsp. salt
              Corn or canola oil
              Confectioners' sugar

              Combine first 7 ingredients. Heat oil in a deep fryer, wok or saucepan. Ladle generous tablespoon batches of batter into the heated oil and deep fry, turning once, until golden. Do not crowd. Drain and cool on paper toweling. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.

              1. re: JungMann

                Nice little riff on Frittelle di Ricotta! The classic Ricotta fritter utilizes lemon zest and brandy but I can roll with a maltese twist although I would work some Grand Marnier or Cointreau in there.

          2. These are our favorite onion fritters - much easier than homemade onion rings.

            3/4 C. flour
            1 T. sugar
            1T. cornmeal
            2 1/2 C. finely chopped onions
            2 t. baking powder
            1 t. salt
            3/4 C. milk

            Mix dry ingredients, then add milk. Batter should be failry thick. Add onions and mix thoroughly. Drop tablespoons full into hot oil. (I use my cast iron skillet for this.) Flatten slightly when you turn them. Drain on paper towel.

            16 Replies
            1. re: Pampatz

              oh, good idea, pampatz. can you use self-rising flour instead of plain flour plus baking powder and salt?

              ooooh, think of a fritter napoleon, with a thin batter fritter of onion, one of green tomato, a slice of fresh tomato, with an aioli, and pico de gallo coulis around the bottom. cilantro sprig on top. chow alert!!

              1. re: alkapal

                I'm surprised you didn't offer up a good recipe for onion bhajji or pakora! Aren't those fritters as well?

                1. re: JungMann

                  i guess, but i'm not crazy about bhaji, or even pakora. i guess they qualify as fritters. (now i have to do etymological search!) fritter: "something fried" (what a revelation ;-D)

                  i think of bhaji almost in the same category as a hush puppy. it is puffier and more bready than a fritter, per se. and pakora seems to be more focused on the batter simply covering large pieces of veggies -- vs. the veggies being more uniformly chopped. am i right? i've just never had good ones, maybe. i like the spicing in this recipe:

                  1. re: alkapal

                    The bhaji I've had were not so much hush puppies as they were simply onion pakora, almost like Indian onion rings. And as for the size of vegetables, you can certainly go small if that's what you want in your pakora. One of the few pakora I like takes chopped spinach and cauliflower through a light and spicy batter. With a little chutney on the side, it's great!

                    1. re: JungMann

                      I think bhaji is what people from Bombay call pakoras, but they are one and the same. Incidentally, in some places bhaji means any veg dish (like sabzi or tarkaari= bhaji). I think you can make a bhaji/pakora in many different styles, like chopped vegetable strips covered in batter, a whole piece of veg or a veg wedge dipped in batter, or a hush puppy like fried dumpling would all be types of pakora/bhaji. One would think the Bombay bhaji must have a veg in it??? But I don't think it is required. I dunno. I have also heard some people say bhajiya...don't know what that denotes either. They are all pakoras to me, anyway.

                      1. re: luckyfatima

                        Interesting to know that pakora can come in different styles. I've had the range of different bhaji you describe, but I'm used to pakora being mostly batter with some vegetable strips or pieces. I hadn't even heard of bhaji until I came to NYC (we always called fritters pakora) -- and truth be told I rarely eat this type of vegetable -- so it's illuminating to have it back on my radar with an interesting backstory.

                        Is the word bhaji more widespread than just Bombay? I've had bhaji at several of the (in)famous establishments in NYC and judging from the food, the proprietors are probably not Mumbaikars (and perhaps not even Indian!).

                        1. re: JungMann

                          I saw on TV once something about the English onion bhaji. Maybe there is some menu moniker influence from the popularity of that. I am sure there is a bhaji/pakora linguistic dividing line in the Hindi speaking regions just as in the US we have the pop/soda geopgraphic dividing lines!

                          I don't think bhaji is used in Pakistani Urdu except for by some people as vegetable would be just pakora.

                          1. re: luckyfatima

                            Hmm... a pakora here (South Africa) is different from the bhajis I've had in the UK.

                            I think the king of Indian fritters might have to be the harabara kebab (say that five times fast for a tongue warm up); vegetarian, multicoloured, spicy. Yum!

                            1. re: Gooseberry

                              Harabara sound great! Do you have a recipe you like?

                2. re: alkapal

                  I'm sure that you could. Aioli sounds terrific. DH now wants your fritter napoleon.

                  I don't have any self-rising here (we are in Mexico for a month), but DH saw what I was writing and requested the onion fritters for supper tonight. They were as good as I remembered.

                  1. re: Pampatz

                    i've got a green tomato and a red onion. fritters tomorrow!

                3. re: Pampatz

                  Hi pampatz, I reallylike this idea. Is te finished product more like a flapjack or is it coarser-bittier in texture, and does the frying cook the onion slightly?

                  1. re: Gooseberry

                    Definitely not flapjack texture. The batter heaps on a tablespoon and holds its shape. I only use about 1/2" of oil to fry, so this is not deep-fat frying, more like pan frying. There is more onion than batter and the onions do cook slightly.

                    1. re: Pampatz

                      Made these tonight. Worth noting for others that this quantity feeds four as a side dish.

                      We liked how sweet the cooking made the onion. I only used 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and needed to add a bit more flour to bind. I think next time I will sub in more cornmeal for flour - we liked the cornmeal flavour.

                      Thanks for sharing the recipe.

                  2. re: Pampatz

                    I'm thinkin' that this would be good with zucchini in place of the onions and, maybe some grated parm. in the batter.

                    1. re: yayadave

                      I'd say definitely salt and squeeze the zukes first, dave, or even saute them in some sweet butter. Since the batter insulates the onions/zucchini quite well, they're not going to cook a lot when you cook the fritters. It worked with the onions because there was jsut enough heat to take the raw edge off them, but they were far from cooked. With something with a milder flavour, like zucchini, I'd want to intensify the flavour a bit first.

                  3. I love fritters too (espcially, obviously, Clam Fritters). I make my corn fritters with NO flour. Light and lovely and you gotta eat them quick.

                    I noticed you mentioned Rosti. I read a Cooks Illustrated article a few years back that says to rinse/soak them well in ice water, drain and towel wrap them to squeeze out the excess water/starch, BUT then add back some cornstarch to help them bind. I've been doing them that way ever since and they almost always come out perfect, never gluey.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                      i'd forgotten about fried clams! are they done fritter style? i used to love howard johnson's all-you-can-eat fried clam fridays. crunchy, chewy, savory sweet clams. yum.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        I guess it's heresy, but I saute fritters (corn, salmon, etc.). They're not half bad.

                        But I wonder, is it possible -- again, heresy -- to saute hushpuppies?

                        I love hushpuppies, but I don't fry anymore.

                        1. re: dolores

                          dolores, what do you mean by saute? just fry in a little oil? i think hushpuppies will be actually oilier if they are sauteed or pan-fried. the hot deep fat fry is essential, imo. let us know your experience, please.

                          but think about it, hushpuppies are basically just deep fried cornbread blobs with minced onions in the batter. try making your cornmeal in mini-muffin pans, and use a "misto" to mist the cornmeal fritter with some corn oil near the end of baking to get a nice crust. maybe remove from the tin once they've firmed up, and put on a baking sheet where they can get crispier all-round?

                          other fritters i don't think necessarily have to be deep fat fried. most "fritter"-like things i do, i use the cast iron skillet.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            alkapal, yes, just fry in a little olive oil or butter. I'll now have to look up the ingredients of a good hushpuppy, and give it a try. Corn meal and onions and a liquid? Sounds like something I could approximate.

                            I use a wok -- heresy I know, but I never rose to the skill level of a cast iron user -- to saute, so I use just a little olive oil or butter and watch it closely. The salmon croquettes I make are decent (for me, anyway), so hushpuppies 'just' might work.

                            1. re: dolores

                              see if this hushpuppy works for you.

                              if you've got vidalia onions, i'd use them finely chopped instead of the green onion. we just used cooking onions growing up.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Thanks alkapal, they look delicious.

                        2. re: alkapal

                          Technically, (with a grin) HoJo's were clam strips! I'm a full-bellied Ipswich type of guy!

                          But clam fritters are mostly a Rhode Island thing. Chopped up clams, onions and some green pepper in a hushpuppie type batter. i like to make a slightly hot/sweet sauce to go with them, but in the days long ago when I went surfing in Narragansett or Newport, we down a dozen with just some salt