Saturday, February 23, 2008

CSA week twelve - squash fritters with cheese, ham, peppers and onions

I had a squash leftover from my pickling project so when I happened across this recipe I thought I'd give it a try. I made a few modifications that I don't really think resulted in improvements but I think others had promise. Compare the two and judge for yourself.

Deep fried squash fritters with cheese, ham, peppers and onions

* 1/2 lb yellow summer squash
* salted water
* 1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheese (I used Ementhal and added some herbs de Provance to match)
* 1/4 cup grits
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 egg -- beaten
* 1/4 cup onion, chopped
* 1/4 cup pepper, chopped
* 1/4 cup ham, chopped
* oil for deep frying

Remove stem and blossom ends of squash and cut in large chunks. Place in a large pan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; cook until squash is tender. [After ten minutes my squash was perfectly done and I didn't have the heart to deliberately overcook it to make it more easily mashable. Instead I ran it through the food processor. That full liquidification was probably my main mistake as it led to some serious structural integrity issues. The switch from corn meal (which I've run out of) to grits didn't help on that account either. I'm not sure if using the whole beaten egg, instead of the half halving the original recipe required, helped or hurt. Certainly the end texture was more omelette-y than I expected.] Drain well; mash. Add all but onion, pepper and ham and blend well. Mix in the rest. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to thicken. To fry, heat oil in the deep fryer to 370°. Drop squash batter by spoonfuls into hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a bit more salt if necessary. Serve hot.

Something went wrong with my phone-camera and the picture I took of the final results wasn't recorded. Ah well. You can get a sense of them from them still in the oil; they browned nicely but fell apart a bit more when I took them out of the pan.

Personally, I liked the fluffy, gritty and crunchy texture that resulted and was a bit disappointed with the lack of squash flavor. But I can see how others might disagree on both points and fritters that held together better would not be a bad thing.

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