[Note: This recipe got some fresh photos in 2019.]
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, Ham, and Ricotta Fritters
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams or 3/4 ounce) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (2 1/2 fluid ounces) milk, any kind
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup torn basil leaves (I use roughly chopped baby spinach here instead)
- About 3 ounces (85 grams) cured ham, torn or cut into strips
- 1/2 a smallish zucchini (about 3 ounces), cut into matchsticks
- Vegetable or olive oil, for frying
Heat a small skillet (I use a 6-inch cast iron here) over medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat oil and then spoon in one-third to half (depending on the size of your skillet; I use one-third for a 6-inch here) of your batter and spread it in one layer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, shimmying pan a little to ensure it’s not sticking, until lightly brown underneath, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip pancake and cook until golden brown on the second side, another 4 minutes, and slide onto a serving plate. Repeat with additional oil and remaining batter.
Note: These pancakes tend to be a little tricky to cook through, especially when thick. If mine are still loose in the middle once outside is the right color, I’ll finish them in a 350 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Cut into wedges to serve.