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.
We’ve all been there – when you don’t have a real amount of stuff in your fridge, but have just enough that you are too lazy to go to the grocery store because its not empty per se. Situations like this give you limited options – one of which is the “odds and ends casserole.” It’s one of those situations in which you are trying to cook something tasty with what happens to be around. Now, everyone’s fridge is different, but my odds-and-ends casserole involved summer squash, potatoes, and cheese. I’m fairly certain you could change veggies with this recipe easily enough, but don’t quote me on that.
1 large yellow potato
1 summer squash/zucchini
1/3 cup chopped onion
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Zap the potato in the microwave for a couple minutes, just enough so that its not raw, but not so much that it is thoroughly cooked. Chop in into smallish chunks and toss it into a bowl. Add the zucchini, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and mix them all together. Take a baking pan, and grease it with the butter. Leave small hunks of butter scattered over the bottom of the pan. Add the veggies. Scatter the cheese over the whole thing, and bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. (The reason you half-cook the potato first is so that you don’t kill the zucchini in the baking process, waiting for the potatoes to cook).
The result was pretty good. Not spectacular or anything – I’d have needed some fresh herbs and a stronger cheese to get it up there. But for an odds-and-ends casserole, it was quite good. Of course, you add enough garlic and cheese to pretty much anything and I’ll be happy. This is a good proto-type casserole. Potato, veggie, seasonings, cheese. Basic, easy, and with infinite variations, as a good odds-and-ends dish should be. In the spirit of the dish, you should pair it with whatever beer or wine you have handy. Song of the week: Irreplaceable by Beyonce. Because Beyonce is Queen – even if she isn’t your thing, she’s earned that from the world. And I love the sentiment of the song – I mean who manages to make a break-up song be all self-empowered? And, while B may be fabulous, this is one of her few songs that I truly love (the other two being Crazy in Love and Single Ladies).