Wednesday, November 29, 2006

zucchini, ham and ricotta fritters

zucchini, ham and ricotta fritters

I am the last person on the internet to join the Cute Overload train; I mean, I get it, it’s cute. I love cute, you love cute, cute makes the birds sing and the sun shine and the world go round and tra-la-la. I get it. But man, oh man. Sometime in the last two weeks it hit me like a ten ton truck and people, the cute is killing me. I can’t breathe sometimes, the cute is so strong. I’m tag-surfing snorgle on Flickr, sputtering nonsensicals like “piggle snorgle tiny mouf action ohmy gah! Gah!” when Alex asks me how my day was. I want to take bites of the cute, but I know, I know I’d bite down too hard and take a piece out of the ear. When she added an “I shall leeck you” category it was about all the precious I could take and I had to let Alex in on the Overload, my new time-sucking Internet habit; Alex, who like any man with two eyes pulse, quickly found the Cats ‘n’ Racks and let’s just say, it is not just my redonk little habit anymore.

Speaking of redonk, in my predictable language-sponging manner, I’ve also picked up the slang, the cute-’bonics and it’s having a horrific effect on my ability to string sentences this week. Take our dinner tonight; it was just one of the best, most awesome, breathtakingly lovable weekday night dinners we’ve had in ages and I can just tell, these fritters are gonna be yr new BFF, too!!!1! Do you see? Do you see how that sentence just fell from grace when my enthusiasm kicked in? Let’s hope this passes real soon.

In the meanwhile, you can consider me officially smitten with Donna Hay. The fritter recipes in the issue I picked up this week demanded my near-immediate attention. Unlike those Indian-spiced ones I made a few weeks ago, which are more like loose ingredients bound with an egg or two, these are more of a pancake batter speckled with wonderful things. They also take about one-eighteenth of the time to make. There’s loads of room for interpretation and ingredient-substitution, but on this first round I followed the Zucchini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritter recipe to the letter. It worked like a charm in my small non-stick, which — all Teflon debates aside — is simply the easiest thing to fry them with a minimum of grease. They slide right out without argument, and don’t over-brown without fair warning.

My only complaint, and really, not much of one, is that it says this serves two and I’d argue with a small salad this easily serves four. I’m stuffed. I think I’m just going to lay back, close my eyes and roll around in my pouchy skin and daintily crossed legs until all of this passes. Being this precious all the time is utterly exhausting.

zucchini basil ham ricotta fritter

Ahem, speaking of late to the party, there is apparently a Donna Hay meme in the food blogosphere, and a recent one in which they celebrated her fritter recipes! Some lovely click-fodder abounds and recipe inspiration abounds. Go, I won’t be hurt.

Zucchini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritters
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 29

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
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
75 grams (2 2/3 ounces) leg ham, torn
1 zucchini (courgette), cut into long, thin strips
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

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. Place two tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan [I used a light coating of olive oil spray] 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.

Add another two tablespoons of the oil and repeat with the remaining batter. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves [at least] 2.


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