I’m typing this as my friend the artisan cabinetmaker is sawing wood-based product out on the back (shit-filled) deck, a plumber is moodily fixing the problems and poor work undertaken by his colleagues on our new (ridiculously expensive) boiler, and the cleaner is hiding upstairs, hopefully cleaning. I have all the staff, me. I’m sat on the sofa, getting high on wood filler fumes, listening to BBC Radio 6 and reassuring the dog that all is ok. She mostly thinks things aren’t ok because next door have begun a 6-8 month whole-home renovation project which seems to be kicking off with wholesale destruction. It’s noisy. She doesn’t like noise so much, if it comes without warning. The burly, short-tempered scaffolder who’s been there the last couple of days, taking up parking space in front of my house, told me this morning that ‘that dog is gorgeous, but if she doesn’t like noise she’s living in the wrong house’. Reassuring.
Anyway, happy new year to you all and I hope your festive seasons were excessive, sick-making and have filled you with dietary righteousness that will propel you through the sad-storm that is January. The boyfriend and I are ostensibly back on diet, albeit without the big motivation we had last year (ie: not looking like actual walruses in wedding pics). We are due to visit Australia in March so I suppose that’s some kickalong, seeing as everyone there looks so brown and healthy and fit every time I go home, compared to the white, blancmange-looking faces we all sport here in London post-Christmas.
This recipe is another bloody Donna Hay but I felt it a bit gauche to put her name in the third blog post title in a row, so it’s not there. Sod her. I’ve got another two of her recipes to cook this week, so Christ knows how much fun this blog is going to be for you all right now.
Fritters sound good, they sound non-diet, and I suppose that’s true to an extent, but apart from a very little bit of flour these are pretty well carb-free. They’re tasty enough, but I think could do with shooshing up a little. You definitely need the salt hit of the halloumi with these, don’t try them without, not unless you have a palate deader than the hopes of us wishing for less shithead leaders of the free world. Next time I might try some smoked paprika. It improves literally almost anything.
Gather, to serve 4:
4 zucchinis (courgettes for those of you who call it otherwise – I used 3)
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
5 eggs (I used 4 large eggs – I reckon the mix was too wet so next time will use 3 – I suggest you put the eggs in one at a time and use your intuition)
40g self raising flour (works out to about 1/4 cup)
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Butter, for frying (or olive oil if you’re HEALTH)
500g halloumi, sliced
Olive oil, for brushing the halloumi with
2 vine-ripened tomatoes (I bought bastarding expensive ones from Natoora, via Ocado. They were floury. I am unimpressed but I suppose it’s not exactly peak tomato season here in the UK)
1 cup mint leaves, picked
Lemon wedges, to serve
Put your oven on to about 120C or so, stick a plate in to get warm – you’ll be wanting to put cooked fritters in there soon.
In a bowl place your grated zucchini, mint, eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
It becomes a foul gloop.
Melt a little butter (or slop a little oil) into a large frypan, non-stick please, over a medium to high heat. Add spoonfuls of the mix to the pan and cook in batches, around 2-3 minutes on each side, till golden. Set aside on the oven-warmed plate. The one in the oven. Pile them up.
About as golden as seen below, please.
While they cook away prep your halloumi, tomato, mint and lemon slices.
Having brushed your halloumi with oil chuck them into the frypan once the fritters are done and gently fry till golden. You need to watch halloumi like it’s a 19 month old toddler who’s discovered the joys of climbing. It won’t do anything for ages and then BOOM it’s burnt, not golden. Or, if it’s NewHuman, BOOM it’s 5m up some shelves, not playing quietly on the floor like a nice kid.
As per tradition we descended upon the Northern Welsh valleys for New Year. It’s incredibly beautiful and utterly maddening to have to leave and return to grey, suspicious old London. For a while, anyway.
NewHuman got his first go on some snow. Frozen snow, but technically snow.
Right. Once the halloumi is golden pile up some fritters, tomatoes and cheese, sprinkle with mint leaves and generously squeeze lemon all over it. It’ll need and want it. It’s a good thing. I added more cracked pepper. Can’t get enough of the stuff.
I ate some more today, cooked slightly smaller, pikelet-sized. Much improved, but I still think the mix is too wet. Experiment with a dryer mix, all you out there. This I recommend. Actually, you probably want to grate your zucchini, then squeeze it out a bit to get the worst of the juicy juice out of it, then mix in with the eggs, et al.
I’m really high on wood-filler fumes now. I might need to go lay down.