Friday, March 20, 2015

The Great Fritter-Off of 2015

It's March and by now, most of us are getting tired of the winter vegetables that have been in farmers markets for months. Hard squash, endless green-housed greens, and potatoes potatoes potatoes, am I right? So the challenge becomes: how do I make interesting and delicious food with the same ingredients my family has been eating for months?

I posed this to a friend on a recent visit to Chapel Hill and we decided to mix things up with would with a fritter contest. The only rules is that the primary vegetable had to be seasonal. Here's what we came up with:

Fritter 1:
White Russet potatoes

Fritter 2:
White sweet potatoes

Fritter 3:
Red sweet potatoes

Fritter 4:
Celery root* and carrot

*For those not familiar with celery root, it's that really ugly, alien-looking ball that you can find near the parsnips and carrots in the grocery store and, of course, some farmers markets will have them as well.

The basic concept for fritters is to grate your primary ingredient, toss it in scrambled egg with salt and pepper and fry it up on a gridle. This highlights the flavor of your main ingredient and serves as a great vehicle for fun sauces. My friend whipped up a delicious Greek yogurt sauce with dill and mint. On the table we also had some Lusty Monk Mustard, some standard ketchup, and relish made by a family friend.

Looks like shredded Cheddar, is actually sweet potato!
Here are the three more interesting types, missing the standard fritter made from regular baking potatoes:

The moral of the story is that with a friend, some imagination and a willing audience, you can make any food fun - even if you've been eating it for months!