Thursday, August 25, 2011

Carrot & feta fritters

I said I’d take a starter to dinner at Trish’s new house in Matakana. I really wanted to do something substantial, and a bit different from my usual delicate nibbles, and for some reason I was really fixating on fritters – specifically courgette and feta fritters. Courgettes are pretty far out of season though, and in a moment of inspiration before I’d quite woken up on Saturday morning, the idea of carrot and feta popped into my head. These took a bit of experimenting to get right, but I’m really pleased with how they ended up. The sweetness of the carrot, the saltiness of feta, subtle spice and a spike of chilli all came together in a tasty little orange package.  I served these with a yoghurt sauce made with Dairy Collective’s gorgeous plain yoghurt and a little mint and coriander pesto. Then I served them again tonight as a side dish (just two per person) with a seared lamb fillet. I suspect they'd also be perfect in wee tiny versions as a canape. Enjoy. 

Carrot & feta fritters

Makes 24 fritters

4 large carrots
150g feta
2 teaspoons pesto (optional)
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ cup cornmeal flour (or use plain flour)
Pinch salt
2 eggs

Grate the carrots and roughly crumble the feta. Place in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients except the salt and eggs. Taste the mixture for seasoning and spices and adjust to your taste, adding salt if needed (feta can be really salty, so taste it first). Then add the eggs and mix well.  

Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Spray with a little oil. Form dessert-spoon sized portions of the mixture into fritters. Fry in batches, turning as they brown.

These can be made ahead and re-heated in the oven.They are gluten-free and FODMAP-friendly, too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chicken and pumpkin stir-fry curry

Here's the recipe I did with Kerre Woodham on Newstalk ZB yesterday morning. This is a stir-fry style curry with a fresh, non-creamy sauce. It is really adaptable, and gluten-free. Eggplant, broccoli, beans and courgettes are also nice additions and substitutes for pumpkin, and you can use beef or lamb instead of chicken (or leave the meat out altogether).

Serves 2
Time to make: 30 minutes

200g pumpkin, cubed
300g chicken thigh fillets, skin removed, sliced
1 tablespoon red curry paste (check it’s gluten-free)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, finely sliced
2cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fish sauce (check it’s gluten-free)
1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 lime, juice
¼ - ½ cup water
2 handfuls spinach leaves (use baby spinach or frozen spinach, defrosted)

Steam or microwave pumpkin for 2 minutes, until just tender.

Meanwhile, spray a non-stick pan with oil. Heat to high and stir-fry chicken for 3 minutes. Add curry paste. Stir-fry for 2 more minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add oil to pan. Add garlic and spring onions and stir-fry until golden. Add chilli, ginger, tomato, lime leaves and fish sauce. Stir-fry for a few seconds until tomatoes soften.

Add pumpkin to pan. Add soy sauce, sugar, lime juice and water. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add chicken back in and heat through. Add spinach and stir until warmed and wilted. Serve with rice, garnished with kaffir lime leaves and lime wedges.