I think it’s time for a little recipe here on C&T. What a couple of days these have been, eh? I’m not going to get into all the madness that was and is the US election. Loads is being said, and my contribution is there for all to see on my personal FB page. I won’t get into it here because this is not a political blog, nor I wish to see it turn into one from today.
To be honest, since it’s getting a tiny little tad too much (you get my gist) I decided to immerse myself in my books today, with one of the reasons being I am feeling under the weather, and I hope to make the beginnings of a cold go away. Also, these past few weeks have been full of reviews and I feel it’s time for a break. So onto the recipe.
The story goes (there’s always one) something like this. J has been in love with Greece ever since he visited a couple of its islands years ago, I think when he was still reading for his undergrad. I always say to him that bringing back a cookery book is no coincidence. After moving so many times from one country to another, and mixed in with my insane number of volumes, this little treasure has been hidden behind the Nigella books, the Rick Steins, the various baking books and others waiting to be reviewed. This recipe for courgette fritters (apparently called Kolokithoketfedes in Greek) was one I had to try. The cooking is easier than the pronunciation. I promise.
With me, the very appropriate aphorism: out of sight, out of mind, applies beautifully! If things are not right there in front on me, I just forget about them. From this results my obsession with to-do lists and other similar stuff. If I don’t write it, I’ll either spend precious time fretting needlessly about it, or it’ll just pass me by unnoticed. It, whatever it might be, becomes invisible and forgettable. So if you come by my house and see what to you is disorganised chaos on my dinner table cum desk in the kitchen, and my real desk in the study, that is not really a mess my friend. Nah…that’s disorganised organisation. A skill I mastered ages ago, and still going strong.
This book, from which the recipe is adapted is now in ‘the mobile pile’, transferable from one room to the other, making the rounds until I decide what the next recipe will be. Every book contains a story.
- around 1kg courgettes (zucchini)
- 250g feta cheese, crumbled into small pieces
- 2 cups rusk crumbs (or fette biscottate, or something like Zwieback)
- fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ – 2 cups plain or all-purpose flour*
- salt and pepper
- olive oil, for the pan
Peel and grate the courgettes, and tip them into a big sieve or colander, whatever you prefer. Sprinkle some salt on them and leave them for an hour or so. After that, squeeze out as much liquid as possible using clean hands and put them into a mixing bowl.
Add the feta, rusk crumbs, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Give these a light mix and add the beaten eggs. Tip in flour* start with around a cup and a half at first. Mix the ingredients until combined.
Heat a shallow non-stick pan and pour in a tablespoon or so of regular olive oil. If you have a firm mixture you will want to shape it into small patties and fry them gently, without overcrowding the pan, until all the sides are golden brown and the courgettes are cooked.
If you prefer a runnier mixture, take tablespoonfuls and drop them gently into the pan. Using this method generally requires more olive oil on the bottom of the pan before frying.
*Think about adding a little more flour if you feel the need to. However keep in mind that the mixture will remain somewhat watery. If you want a firmer mixture, add more flour or more rusk crumbs.
(Recipe adapted from 300 Traditional Recipes: Greek Cookery, ed. G. Monemvasitis, Greco Card, 1996.)