bits and pieces

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chevre, Chive and Garlic-Scallion Fritters

Warm, pillowy fritters, waiting to be popped in your maw. 
Ahhh summer. It has gone the way of the dinosaur. At least for another year. We were lucky enough here to have a glorious fall, replete with 30 degree days and lots and lots of sunshine. This was definitely excellent, but it's made me a bit winter-shy. 

And yup. Late October and it's snowing. Well not right now, but it was. 

I'm stocking up on winter recipes and homemade comfort foods here, but this recipe has been sitting waiting since the first NFL Sunday of the year. For those of you unfamiliar, our house is football mad. Which means there are always a handful of people at our house for hours and hours on Sunday. This normally means I cook a bunch of ludicrous food and experiment with fun recipes and test them on my unsuspecting house guests. Our house is food-ball mad. 

Deep frying is a dark, terrible passion of mine. When I first began this blog I had entitled it 'fry-baby-fry' and wanted to make it exclusively full of ludicrous, fried food. While there is still plenty of that, it evolved into more (or less?) than that. Still - deep frying remains a shameful part of my life that I limit to Game Day food. 
Garden fresh chives, chevre from SalayView farms, and homemade corn meal. Yup. 

That said - I had never deep fried bread type products before. I've deep fried pasta, I've deep fried hot dogs, I've deep fried lots of more socially acceptable things too. However, deep fried dough was not a thing with which I was familiar. Come to think of it, I've never even had a funnel cake. A couple months ago, it seemed I couldn't turn around without seeing a recipe for hushpuppies or fritters on the internet. I stored one away (it was originally crab and corn) and modified it to suit some of my vegetarian, cheese loving guests. And you guys - this recipe is great. And actually really easy. 

Since I'm ludicrous, I ground my own cornmeal, plucked the chives from my garden, and used some yummly chevre produced by a local farm. But you don't need to be that over the top. And what's even better, is that you can put pretty much whatever you'd like in these. Cheddar and jalapenos! Chilies and blue cheese! Up the honey quantity, add some raspberries, chocolate, (take out the garlic and stuff), and toss them in cinnamon and sugar! 

If you're hungry, fry-y, or just miss summer's warmth and sunshine, get low-brow and fry ye some dough. You won't regret it. Unless you leave the room for an hour and come back to find your football beasts have eaten them all. Sigh. 

2 cups flour
1 cup of corn meal
2 tbsp honey (or sugar is fine too)
A big pinch of salt
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 big pinch black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

½ an onion, minced. I threw in a handful of green onion too.
¼ a cup of chives, diced finely
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups milk
½  a cup of chevre, crumbled (the colder the better!)
A handful of corn kernels

Canola oil

other things you need:
A big bowl and a whisk and spatula OR a standmixer with the paddle attachment.
I also used a baking tray to hold my fritters while I was rolling them into balls.
A deep fryer OR a large wok/sauce pan deep enough to fry in.
A slotted spoon/wooden spoon
A rack for draining your fritters on OR a bunch of paper towel.

  1. Combine your dry ingredients and whisk to ensure they’re thoroughly mixed.
  2. Slowly incorporate your eggs, milk, honey, onion, garlic, green onion, corn, and stir to combine.
  3. Gently mix in your chevre. Your dough should be sticky but not TOO sticky (precise I know). If you’re using a standmixer, I folded mine in using a spatula since I didn’t want it to just blend into the dough.
  4. Wet your hands, and roll your dough into golf ball sized balls. The water will help prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Since we want nice little puffs of chevre, the less you handle the dough, the better. Don’t stress about it, but don’t fuss with it if it doesn’t need fussing with.
  5. Once you’ve rolled out your fritters, either gentle place them in your deep fryer (heated to 375), ensuring they don’t stick to the basket, and most importantly ensuring you don’t hurt yourself. If you don’t have a deep fryer: using a wok or large sauce pan, heat 3 inches of oil to 375 and gently lower 3-4 pops into the oil. If you’re using a fryer, they’ll turn themselves as they cook. If not you may need to (CAREFULLY) help them along with a spoon.
  6. After about 3-4 minutes (or once they’re goldeny and delicious), remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on a rack. Cook your fritters in batches until done. Once you’ve done a batch or two of these, you’ll get the hang of it and be whizzing along.
  7. Serve with a honey mustard dipping sauce. 

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