Thursday, January 26, 2012

Take Time to Fritter Away the Day.

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Week 4 of 52 weeks of cooking, and the theme is pan frying. In case you’re wondering what happened in week three, it’s best not to dwell on it. Actually, maybe you can if you like. I’m going to take two birds our with one stone here by also using one of the formula’s from Michael Ruhlman's Ratio, fritter batter. Another down, maybe 27 more to go.

Fritter batter’s ratio is a pretty simple one, and very versatile to use. Two parts flour, two parts liquid, one part egg. A little bit of baking powder to help with leavening, a bit of salt to bring out the flavor. This is the foundation through which a huge array of garnishes can be pulled together with different flavor combinations for an easy snack.


I opted to use beer this time for liquid, because there was a half bottle free in the refrigerator. Milk was actually recommended in the book, but I don’t think the change was damaging to my choices.

The pictures won’t quite mesh with the recipe I provide at the end, but it doesn’t matter too much. This is a fritter batter, not a soufflé. What matters is how it holds together at the end, which can be adjusted later.

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I forgot to take a picture of the egg with the other things, so here it is; Along with the egg we’ll be using some lemons, primarily for their zest and a bit of the juice, cayenne pepper, and the garnish, zucchini in this case.

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First the dry ingredients. Four ounces of flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, a few big pinches of salt in my case, as I won’t be serving the fritters with any sort of dip. I’d recommend it something though, perhaps a Sriricha spiked mayo, or a sharply seasoned Greek yogurt.

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Wet ingredients now, beer, egg.

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I tared the scale just before adding the egg. Exactly 2 ounces! So convenient, the egg.

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Then the mess of everything else. Cayenne pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest.

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Ahem, some lemon juice.

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And there we have the fritter batter. Now to deal with the garnish.

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I cut the zucchini into quarter inch dice, more or less.

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Halve the zucchini.

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Then halve again into thin slices.

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Stack up, slice.

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And dice. Next time I’d probably aim to make them a bit finer, or maybe even coarsely grate it. While an interesting look, I think the large shape of it required a bit more careful cooking than a smaller cut would have necessitated.

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Make sure your batter is still like thick paint, add a bit of flour or liquid if necessary to get the right consistency. It should be looser than pancake batter at the least.

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One zucchini yielded about a cup and a half by the way, which would leave me with a bit of extra batter. I’ll think of something though!

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Coat the zucchini with just enough batter to hold it together.

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And spoon into an oiled skillet over medium heat.

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Pan fry a few minutes to each side, until fully cooked. This is a bit more of an art than a science.

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My first fritters. They needed a bit more cooking time, so I lowered the heat and tossed them back in again to fully cook the zucchini.

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That’s better, a nice golden brown.

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While satisfying, I still had a lot of batter to go and I felt like something a bit more savory.

So I chopped up some onion, threw in a handful of frozen corn….

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And added some chopped cooked ham. That’s more like it.

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In they go over medium heat, cooking a few minutes a side. Just a hair over two and a half minutes in my case.

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Flip, whatever, you know the drill now.

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This fritter, it has character. The combination of different veggies and the extra bit of savory from the ham definitely stepped this up.

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So do these.

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An excellent snack to accompany some beer while watching a show.

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I actually still had some batter after that, so I just made some corn and onion fritters to finish it all off.

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Zucchini Fritter Recipe adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio:

Remember, this is a guideline, and as seen from above very versatile. Feel free to switch up flavorings and garnishes, as noted above.

4 oz. flour (3/4 cup)
4 oz. liquid (beer, milk, stock)
1 large egg (2 oz.)
Few pinches of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 cups Zucchini, small dice (about two small zucchini or a rather big one)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

  1. Combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, cayenne.
  2. Mix wet ingredients: your liquid, lemon juice, egg, and lemon zest.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until combined, consistency should be like a thick paint.
  4. Place diced zucchini in a bowl and top with just enough batter to make it cling together.
  5. Heat an skillet over medium heat, and add a thin layer of oil.
  6. Pan fry spoonfuls of the mixture, a few minutes a side until golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Season and/or enjoy with condiments of your choice.

Season and enjoy, perhaps with a sauce! Feta cheese and salt was recommended, but I can see a nice yogurt based sauce or a sharp salsa working well too.


  1. When I worked the Farmer's Market stall for the Davis Food Coop, we sometimes made a squash fritter very similar to this, except we grated summer squash instead of cubing it. We also didn't have beer, which would have made Market days even more fun.

    Mmm fritters.

    1. Yeah, my cousin showed me a picture of fritters where they were grated too, they looked much more uniform than what mine ended up being like. When I do this again, I shall do that instead.