Sometimes, I plan things out a little too well. I’m leaving for Turkey tomorrow (woooo!!!!!) and carefully planned out my meals and grocery shopping so I could maximize my healthy life choices. Then today rolled around, and I realized I didn’t really have anything to experiment this week with. Well, I did have a russet potato, and a couple eggs left, so I thought of the steampunk savory fritters I made a couple weeks ago. However, this time I figured what the hell, lets make the sweet version. I had to adapt a couple things as per usual.
Sweet Steampunk Fritters
1 large russet potato
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoon grand marnier
Vegetable oil for frying
Bake the large potato (or, if you have limited time, stick it in the microwave for a few minutes). Remove the skin and mash the potato in a large bowl – I find it easiest to just use a fork. Add the all the other ingredients, saving the egg for last. If you are really motivated you can separate the egg, beat the egg white til soft peaks form, and fold it in but I’ve found it largely unnecessary. The batter should be fairly cohesive and not lumpy. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add plops of the batter and flatten them out a bit. Fry until both sides are golden brown, and remove onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Serve warm.
Ok, so I definitely used too much Grand marnier. Whoops. I used 2 tablespoons, which is why I decreased it to 1 1/2 in the posted recipe. It did not all cook off also – just to warn you. You can eat them by themselves, but I tried a few different toppings – goat cheese, cinnamon sugar, and honey. All were pretty good, but I liked the goat cheese best – I love a savory bite to these sorts of things. I didn’t have these with any alcohol, but if you were going to, I would suggest a reisling, or, if you want to really roll with the Victorian theme, port. I think they’d be good with port. Song of the week: Baba O’Riley, by The Who. I’ve been in something of a Who mood lately, and this song, despite its overplayed-ness, has particularly been speaking to me. Especially the line “I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right; I don’t need to be forgiven.” Love it. Sometimes you just need a song like this in your life.
As you might have guessed from the name of this post, I’m a bit of a steampunk fan. Not a huge fan, but one of my all-time favorite books series is a urban fantasy/steampunk mishmosh of awesome. So when I was trying to come up with something for this week, I remembered that there is this food blog – Tentacle and Treacle – inspired by the series. Sadly Victorian food is not the most inspired cuisine, particularly for a vegetarian, but I saw the potato fritters post and it so naturally I had to try and make a version. I decided on attempting a savory version, rather than staying true to the recipe, as I wanted something more dinner-ish.
Savory Potato Fritters
1 large russet potato
1 medium spring onion (or a bunch of green onions)
1-2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Bake the large potato (or, if you have limited time, stick it in the microwave for a few minutes). Remove the skin and mash the potato in a large bowl – I find it easiest to just use a fork. Chop the onion (a spring onion is basically a massively oversized green onion), and add it to the potatoes. Add the all the other ingredients, saving the egg for last. If you are really motivated you can separate the egg, beat the egg white til soft peaks form, and fold it in but I’ve found it largely unnecessary. The batter should be fairly cohesive and not lumpy. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add plops of the batter and flatten them out a bit. Fry until both sides are golden brown, and remove onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Serve warm.
Tasty! A little on the bland side, as they can be slightly improved by adding cheese or ketchup on top. I am kicking myself a little because I was going to stick cheese in them and then I changed my mind – proof that initial impulses can in fact be good life decisions. But these are still extremely good, and weirdly tasted even better the next day. Not sure how that works. Song of the week: Highway to Hell, by AC/DC. I was listening this on my way to work the other day and it seemed eerily appropriate, like a musical Freudian slip… Also, it’s an awesome song and you should rock out to it regardless.
And once again a recipe emerges from ingredients in the “use it or lose it” stage. This time it was shiitake mushrooms. As a general rule I’m not particularly fond of mushrooms, but I like shiitakes well enough. These ones I bought a while ago and told myself I absolutely had to use them. So what is the one sure-fire way to make something taste great? Frying! And thus the decision to make fried shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch of shiitake mushrooms, washed with stems removed
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
oil for frying
Mix the egg, water, flour, and salt together to make a really smooth batter. Heat a solid amount of oil, maybe a half inch, in a frying pan. Drop a little of the batter in it, and once little bubbles form along the edge of it, it’s ready. Toss the mushrooms in the batter. Make sure to coat them evenly as possible, and put them in the hot oil. Flip over once the bottom side begins to brown. Remove and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Serve hot with sweet chili sauce.
The result – awesome of course! There is basically no way to screw up this recipe and almost no way to make it taste anything less than totally delicious. I served it with a beer, this time a Belgian wit-style ale, but it was a little too light, probably because it’s winter. Song of the week: Defying Gravity from Wicked. It’s been making me feel so much better about my life over the past few days. And every time I hear the line “and if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free” I’m all like Yes! That! So listen, and be filled with warm fuzzy feelings of inspiration and self-acceptance.