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Friday, 7 August 2015

A day of fancying a fritter from the wonderful Yotam Ottolenghi

So, it's Friday again, which means I've been going through my cookbooks to try a new recipe
Something savoury I thought, something without meat.

Yotam Ottolenghi sprang to mind immediately, but then it was decisions decisions....which book of his shall I cook from? I have two, "Plenty" and "Jerusalem", and I love them both. What shines from every page  of both books is a strong narrative and a sense  of continuity though cooking. Many of the recipes have survived  turbulent times, and years of change for families and friends mentioned in the books.

Last night, I wanted something tasty, yet not too exacting. I flicked through the pages of "Plenty", and there it was, a recipe I've been meaning to make for ages. Leek fritters.

Ok, I have a feeling that some of you reading this may be turning up your noses at the thought of a fritter, even perhaps channelling your inner Lady Bracknell..."a fritter?" But at certain times they  can hit the spot in a very satisfying way. Especially when leeks are involved. Plus spices.

So let's begin shall we?

Ingredients include leeks, shallots ( I used onions), chilli pepper, spices, egg white etc.....

How to make

After sautéing the leeks and shallots until soft, you gradually add all of the other ingredients...and at this stage the mixture is rather sloppy, as you can see by the state of the bowl....

I made eight fritters, and I'll definitely be making these again. They're so creamy, light, and the subtle spices don't overpower the lovely flavour of the leeks.

I may have eaten more than I should have, even though they're quite filling. In fact I did eat more than necessary, but my defence is M'lud, I simply couldn't resist just another bite, and then another....

There's also a coriander sauce to accompany the fritters, but last night, I just sprinkled them with a couple of squeezes of a lemon, and that was just enough for me.

Another recipe from "Plenty" I tried for the first time was a salad ,which I first encountered at my friend Debbie's house. Oooh I did enjoy it...a beetroot, walnut and orange salad - on page 15 of the book, if you're interested. The earthy sweetness of the beetroot, the crunch of walnuts and olives, and the sharpness of the citrus made a delicious combination.

So I made it, and in our eagerness to dive in and eat, no photographs were taken, but trust me, again, this recipe is a winner. But then again, for me, all of Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes are....I've not encountered one that's a dud yet.

He's also in that rare band of chefs and writers who  establishes a real connection with the reader. Whenever I read one of his recipes, I feel hungry, I need to make it...and I somehow smell the finished creation before I've even made it.

There's only one other writer who makes me feel that way, and that's the wonderful Nigel Slater.
Alas he doesn't run a restaurant, but Yotam does ,and I can't wait to finally get down to London to visit one of them. It could be dangerous though, I might decide to work my way through most of the menu and get stuck behind a table, unable to leave or waddle back to the train. But hey, that's a risk I'm willing to take.

The complete recipe for leek fritters can be found here or in the book itself, which is so good, I refuse to lend it to anyone else.

"Plenty" by Yotam Ottalenghi ,published by Ebury Press, 2010.


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