I feel like it’s been getting better, lately, though, because I’ve been exercising my sentence-forming-ability. Taking it out for short runs every day, and putting it through its paces. Nothing too strenuous or stressful, nothing too complicated. I took two days off, watched a lot of cartoons on cable, and I feel like it’s all gone again! Sheesh.
Anyway – I’m back, and we’re making crazy food here. These carrot cashew fritters were the product of a nearly empty fridge. We had some carrots, we had some tarragon I wanted to use up. We had some fresh ginger. Would that be good with tarragon? Yes! It would! I wanted to use chickpea flour, but either I used it up, or it got lost in some strange nether world of odd flours in my overburdened cupboard. Pushed to the back behind the toasted barley flour and the tapioca flour and the masa harina, it was all like, “I’m out of here! She doesn’t even know I’m around any more!” So I used urad flour, which imparted a nice earthy taste to the sweet bright carrots and ginger. But you could use chickpea flour or even just regular flour, if you don’t happen to have a cupboard spilling over with bags of strange flours. The secret surprise in these fritters is mozzarella cheese! It makes them fun to eat, when it gets all melty and delicious. We ate these with a tamarind-chipotle sauce that I made a little bit too hot, but which Malcolm liked anyway.
Here’s John Buddy Williams Band with Saturday Night Blowout, my absolute favorite song at the moment. Since words have failed me, we’re going with an instrumental. Doesn’t it prove that you don’t really need words to say what you’re feeling? It’s a whole conversation.
For the fritters
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup urad flour or chickpea flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 cup beer
Mix the flours, salt and baking powder together. Add the beer and whisk together till you have a thick batter. You want it to thick enough to coat something, like whipped cream, maybe. Add more beer or a little water if necessary.
4 or 5 medium sized carrots, grated
1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped
1 t tarragon, chopped
1/2 inch cube fresh ginger, grated
1/2 t salt
freshly grated pepper
1 cup grated mozzarella
Mix everything together well. Stir a tablespoon of batter into the carrots, and stir together.
Warm some olive oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. About 1/2 inch deep. When it’s hot enough to sizzle a crumb, you’re good to go.
Form some of the carrot mixture into a small ball – about golf ball-sized. Using two forks, drop the ball into the batter, roll it around until it’s coated. Pick it up and let the excess drip off. Drop it into the olive oil. Fry till it’s golden brown, turning it so that all sides get cooked. Let it drain on paper towels for a few minutes, and then keep warm in the toaster oven.
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic – minced
2 T brown sugar or raw sugar
1/2 t basil
1/4 t tamarind concentrate
1/4 t chipotle purée (or to taste)
1 t tomato paste
1 t balsamic
lots of freshly ground black pepper
In a small frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and basil, and sugar. When the garlic starts to brown and the sugar is melted, stir in the tamarind, chipotle, tomato paste and balsamic. Add enough water to make a thinnish sauce (maybe 1/2 cup). Cook for a few minutes till it’s slightly thickened and warm through.