Zucchini, Bacon and Cheese Fritters and Potato Rösti

The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

Since this month’s Daring Cook’s post day is also Valentine’s Day I decided to make heart shaped Zucchini, Bacon and Cheese Fritters and heart shaped Potato Rösti. I used half potato half sweet potato in the Potato Rösti.

The Zucchini Fritters were the favorite. Of course, it’s hard not to like something mixed with cheese and bacon. I reduced the chili paste in the Zucchini Fritters to 1 teaspoon and it still had plenty of heat.

These patties use a basic cooking technique which can be adapted to suit any ingredient that you have on hand. I don’t often make pan fried food, so I appreciate the great tips included with this month’s challenge. Here’s some of the tips that were especially helpful to me for the challenge recipes:

  • Patty mixtures should be kept as cold as possible while preparing them, and kept cold until you cook them. The cold helps bind the ingredients together. Usually patties should be rested (about an hour) before cooking they “firm” up during this time, a good technique to use if your patty is soft. Always wrap patties they can dry out if left in the fridge uncovered.
  • Don’t over-mix the ingredients the resultant mixture will be heavy and dense.
  • Make all the patties the same size so they will cook at the same rate. To get even-sized patties, use measuring cups or spoons to measure out your mixture.
  • Dampen your hands when shaping patties so the mixture won’t stick to your fingers.
  • Do not overload the frying pan which allows steam to be trapped near the cooking food which might lead to the patties being steamed instead of fried.
  • When the raw patty hits the hot cooking surface it will stick. And will stay so until the patty crust forms so causing a non-stick surface on the patty at this point you can lift the patty easily without sticking. So wait until the patties (with a gentle shaking of the pan or a light finger-twist of the patty) release themselves naturally from the frying pan surface (maybe a minute or two for meat patties maybe 3-6 minutes for a vegetable patty). If you try to flip it too early the burger will fall apart. The secret is to wait for the the patty to naturally release itself from the pan surface then flip it over once.
  • Check the temperature of the oil by placing a few breadcrumbs into the pan they should take 30 seconds to brown.
  • If you need to soak up excess oil place the patties on a rack to drain, do not place onto paper towels since steam will be trapped which can make the patty soggy, if you need to just press off the excess oil with paper towels then place onto a rack.

Zucchini, Bacon and Cheese Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. zucchini (two medium)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese, a strong bitty cheese is best
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and broken in to pieces
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil, for frying

Directions:

Grate the zucchini with a box grater or food processor. Place into large bowl, add 1 teaspoon salt, wait 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, wrap zucchini in a cloth and squeeze dry with as much force as you can you will get a lot of liquid over 1/2 cup, discard liquid it will be too salty to use.

Return dried zucchini to bowl add bacon, cheese, pepper, chili paste, pepper, a little salt and the lightly beaten eggs. Sift together flour and baking powder and add to bowl.

Mix until combined. If the batter is too thick you can add water or milk or another egg; if too wet add more flour. It should be thick and should not flow when placed onto the frying pan.

Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 1/3 of the oil wait until it shimmers.

Place dollops of batter (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the fry pan widely spaced out, with the back of a spoon smooth out each dollop to about 2 inches (5 cm) wide, do not make the fritters too thick. You should get three or four fritters in the average-sized fry pan. Lower heat to medium.

Fry for 3-4 minutes on the first side, flip, then fry the other side about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat for the remaining batter. Adding extra oil as needed.

Place cooked fritters into a moderate oven on a baking dish for 10 minutes if you want extra crispy fritters.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Potato Rösti
 
Yield: makes two large rösti
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or all-propose flour
  • 3 tablespoons oil, for frying
Directions
  1. Grate the peeled potatoes with a box grater or a food processor.
  2. Wrap the grated potato in a cloth and squeeze dry, you will get a lot of liquid over 1/2 cup, discard liquid.
  3. Return dried potato to bowl add the egg, cornstarch, pepper, and salt. Mix until combined.
  4. Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil wait until oil shimmers.
  5. Place half of mixture into the pan, flatten with a spoon until you get a smooth flat surface. Lower heat to medium.
  6. Fry for 8-10 minutes (check at 6 minutes) the first side, flip by sliding the rösti onto a plate then use another plate invert the rösti then slide it back into the pan, then fry the other side about 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Repeat to make another rösti
Notes
Adapted from a Audax family recipe

Visit the Daring Kitchen for information on joining the Daring Cooks and to see all the great patties the Daring Cooks cooked up this month. Thanks Audax & Lis for a terrific challenge.