Often on a Monday evening, when I’m at my local farm store, arming myself with my weekly supply of freshness, and the best intentions to do green smoothies this week (still hasn’t happened), I pick up something I haven’t cooked with before – just to try it. Recently, patty pans found their way into my basket. Sure, I’ve had them before, steamed to a flavourless mush as the standard conference-meal side, but I figured there must be a way to transform these cute little guys.
And so came the patty pan, pap and feta fritter. Try saying that out loud five times. This one’s for all you veggie skeptics out there.
The recipe is an adaptation of my standard baby marrow fritter recipe, which is still a work in progress. I substituted flour for pap (maize meal) to make it super crispy. You could also use cornmeal or polenta. For extra flavour I added parsley, chilli to give it some bite, and feta, because cheese makes everything better.
Mr. Taste-Tester has somehow managed to earn himself the title of sauce-king in our house. Unfortunately he wasn’t home when I was making these, and since I was too hungry to wait for him, I had to figure out the sauce myself. A quick rummage through the fridge resulted in this sour cream and chive mixture, with some plain yoghurt to lighten it up. Beetroot sprouts make a pretty garnish, but these would also work well with slivers of smoked salmon draped on top to make a fancy-schmancy looking starter (that’s super simple to make, and can be prepped in advance!)
So now who’s excited about patty pans? Ok don’t answer yet, just try these first.
Patty Pan, Pap and Feta Fritters
Serves 4 as a snack
For the fritters:
- 4 cups grated yellow patty pans (about 1 punnet)
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1 cup Pap (maize meal) or cornmeal or polenta
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 Cup milk
- 2 small red chillies, finely sliced
- 50 g crumbled feta
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Olive oil, for shallow frying
- Extra salt, and freshly crushed black pepper to taste
- Beetroot sprouts to garnish (optional)
For the sauce:
- 3 Tbsp sour cream
- 3 Tbsp full cream plain yoghurt
- 4 chives, chopped
- Salt and freshly crushed pepper to taste
- Put the grated patty pans in a colander, sprinkle 1/2 tsp fine salt over and allow to drain for at 15-20 minutes, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible (this is important to get a crispy texture on the fritters.
- Combine the patty pans with the eggs, feta, chilli and parsley, and mix well.
- Mix the pap and baking powder together and sprinkle over the patty pan mixture, then mix it in till everything is combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add olive oil to just coat the surface of a frying pan. Heat the oil, then add spoonfuls of the batter to the hot oil, and flatten out the mixture slightly to form circles.
- Cook on one side till bubbles form on the surface, then flip over and cook till both sides are golden brown.
- Mix all sauce ingredients together and dollop onto the fritters. Garnish with the sprouts if using.