The BH and I were up quite late last night, so when we finally dragged ourselves out of bed this morning we were in the mood for a something a little more substantial than the usual breakfast fare. Something leaning more towards lunch than breakfast on the brunch scale. I had managed to take a packet of bacon out the freezer the night before, but beyond that I had no idea what I was going to serve. Which is why, if you had popped your head through the kitchen window of a tiny terraced house in a leafy English suburb this morning, you would have seen a bath-robe, slipper-clad woman staring at an open refrigerator mumbling to herself for a good fifteen minutes before grabbing some courgettes from the crisping draw and shouting EUREKA loudly enough to scare the dog waiting hopefully at her side for her to drop something.
I adore courgettes, or zucchini if you will. They are flavourful, versatile and they really come into their own when battered and fried. Somehow, despite this very Scottish way of cooking them, you still feel they are at least a little bit healthy. It’s probably because they’re green. So it was settled. We were having courgette fritters.
To make 10 fritters take:
2 medium courgettes
1 medium egg, beaten
1 heaped tsp of sweet paprika
25gm of a hard sharp cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
1/2 a cup of self rising flour
1/4 of an onion, very finely chopped
1 Tbs of coarse salt
1Tbs of vegetable oil, anything with a low smoke point
First grate the courgette as coarsely as possible. You can use a cheese grater, a mandolin or my personal favourite, especially if someone else is doing the dishes, a food processor. Then line a colander with a clean tea towel and put the colander over a bowl.
Put the grated courgette, chopped onion and salt in the bowl and mix together. The salt is suppose to help draw the moisture out of the courgette. Leave the mixture alone for about ten minutes. Then fold up the edges of the dish towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. It is gob smacking just how much moisture you can squeeze out of two courgettes.
Put the now dry, or at least drier, mixture in a bowl and add the cheese, paprika, beaten egg and mix well. Next, fold in the self rising flour to make a really thick batter. Then add the vegetable oil to a flat heavy pan and heat on a medium heat for about a minute or two.
Spoon about an tenth of the batter in to the pan, AND THEN LEAVE IT ALONE! Don’t touch it. Let it cook for at least two minutes until a golden crust has formed on the bottom. Try to flip it any earlier and it WILL stick. Trust me. Don’t do it.
Once it’s cooked on the bottom, turn and cook the other side as well. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towel and then fry the rest of the batter in batches. Once all the fritters have been cooked serve with a spicy tomato sauce.