Monday 16 November 2009

Courgette & parmesan fritters

A fancy take on my old friend the courgette

Some friends of mine and I are partaking in a 'Come Dine With Me' style cooking challenge, in which each couple take turns in hosting a dinner party and then the guests give anonymous scores out of 10 for the evening. Myself and Martin went first, and this was our chosen starter for the evening. We served the fritters hot with cold couscous salad on the side.

Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 large courgette
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 or 3 slices of bread, whizzed up into breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 egg, beaten

- Grate the courgette onto a clean tea towel, then gather up the sides and squeeze the courgette to release the excess water. Once this is done, put the courgette in a bowl and mix in the parmesan, garlic and breadcrumbs.
- Grab a handful of the mixture and work it with your hands to test the consistency. It needs to be wet enough for you to be able to mould it into patties without falling apart, yet dry enough so that it doesn't stick to your hands in a globby mess. If your mixture is too dry at this stage and won't hold together, add a little of the beaten egg to help it bind. If too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
- Form the mixture into about 8 patties and fry them over a medium-low heat in some olive oil for approximately 4 minutes on each side, until golden.

- For the couscous, cook it according to the instructions on the packet. Saute some shallots or finely diced onion slowly in some butter until soft and translucent. Add this to the cooked couscous, with some chopped flat leaf parsley, salt and black pepper. Using a dry frying pan, toast some pine nuts quickly until they start to brown and mix them into the couscous too.

My co-chef plating up the couscous:

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