Apparently I am on a
diet (tell that to the cookies I just baked, the chocolate
tart I made on Sunday and the cookie dough balls I keep on
hand for cookie-related emergencies stocked in the freezer.)
So to counteract all these treats I have been searching for
nutritious meal options that are infinitely more exciting
than a bowl of steamed broccoli and a tin of tuna.
In one of my favourite cookbooks (Ripe Recipes, by
Angela Redfern) is a recipe for pea fritters. They served
them as a starter by making really small ones.
As you may recall from my post last year regarding corn
fritters, I am a bit of a fritter fanatic. So naturally,
these were right up my alley.
When I make fritters I try to use ingredients I already have
in my fridge. So, in this case, I had a half-destroyed mint
plant, a massive tub of cottage cheese, a lump of feta and
two very freezer-burnt slices of Vogels.
And since I was cooking for just me, I halved the original
recipe, which meant using two eggs instead of the five asked
for. I think that two were sufficient, so I have reduced the
total egg quantity to four. These are size 7 eggs though. If
you get the really small size fives you may want to add in an
I also changed to cumin seeds instead of ground cumin.
Need I explain my love affair with cumin seeds? Same goes for
mint leaves. Why have two tablespoons when you can have half
a cup . . .
I also added 100g of cottage cheese as well as the feta. This
added a bit more texture as well as more protein to the
What makes these fritters fluffy is folding in the egg
When you whisk/beat your egg whites you need to make sure
there is no fat in the bowl whatsoever. This includes tiny
flecks of egg yolk, so wash the bowl with hot soapy water
just to be sure.
When separating the whites from the yolks, I use what I call
a ''quarantine'' cup that the white must be separated into
before it is added to the mixing bowl. This ensures that if
one separation doesn't go as smoothly as planned the rest of
the whites aren't affected.
Now the secret to folding things in is this:
Take the non-eggwhite bowl, spoon in a third of the stiff egg
white and roughly mix it in to loosen up the mixture. Then
add the next third and stir it slightly more gently. Then
take the last third and fold it in. I could try explaining
proper folding technique, but I think it is just easier to
find a good video on YouTube.
These can also be made gluten free by using gluten-free bread
for the crumbs and using gluten-free baking powder.
Minted pea and feta
400g frozen baby peas
4 large eggs, separated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
100g feta, crumbled (use the cumin-flavoured one if you want
an extra kick in the flavour pants)
100g cottage cheese
zest of two lemons
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (try to use a good grainy bread for
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
Minted yogurt dipping sauce:
1 pottle of
unsweetened natural yoghurt
½ a lemon's juice
6 large mint leaves, finely sliced
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
sprinkling of salt and pepper
Place the frozen peas in a microwave-safe container, cover
with hot water then pop on the lid and microwave on high for
five minutes or until they are soft to the bite. Drain the
water and lightly mash the peas with a potato masher. You
want some of them to retain their shape rather than just
producing a mushy green puree.
Whisk together the egg yolks until frothy. Mix in the peas,
crumbled feta, cottage cheese, mint, spring onion, cumin
seeds, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, baking powder and salt and
Whisk together in a clean bowl the egg whites until stiff
peaks form. Stir in a third of the white into the rest of the
mixture to loosen it. Then add another third and gently stir
in. Gently fold in the remaining third.
Slosh a tablespoon or so of oil into a non-stick frying pan
on a medium heat. Let the pan get up to temperature before
spooning in the fritter mix. Cook until the bottom side is
brown then flip and cook the other side.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in
a small bowl and stir.
Serve these fritters fresh out of the pan with the dipping
sauce. They are light to eat, but surprisingly filling!