Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Thanksgiving Deliciosity Part Deux- Cranberry fritters

Posted: November 21st, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

When it comes to Thanksgiving recipes, my family is pretty set in their ways.  We all have our favorite dish, and if it wasn’t on the table for Thanksgiving, we would die.  For one of my sisters, it is corn.  Not super complex, but a NECESSITY.  For my other sister, it is crescent rolls, which unfortunately we often forget in the over and are super overdone.  But they are there.  For me, its broccoli and onion casserole, again very simple: broccoli, onions and a cheddar white sauce, but hey I love it and it is a must have.  My mother tried to change the menu one year and added sweet potato casserole (I know its a tradition in most houses, but had NEVER been present in our kitchen) for my brother in law who was spending his first Thanksgiving with us (god bless him).  We were outraged that she would change the menu, even if it was just to add something.  I don’t tell you this information to make you think we are resistant to change, just that we feel strongly about our traditions.  Fortunately, we do not have our ‘required’ desserts, and it tends to depend on the year, and what we find at the grocery store that looks good.  So when we decided to test out some Thanksgiving recipes for our dear Bakezilla, I immediately gravitated toward desert, because to test another side dish would feel a little like adultery to me.  So as I was wandering around in recipe land I stumbled across Paula Deen’s cranberry sauce fritter recipe, which sounded ok, but used the canned gelatinous cranberry ’sauce’ that we are all so used to.  She simply battered and fried slices of the cranberry jello, which seemed interesting but not entirely up my alley.  However, it did put the idea of cranberry fritters in my head.  So I looked around for other recipes and found one that used real cranberries.  I stumbled across THIS recipe, which I liked so I went ahead and tried it.  The batter was easy enough to make, but when it comes time to handle it, they aren’t kidding when they say your hands need to be well floured…seriously, coat your hands.  Fritter Batter

I rolled the batter in my hands, and poked a little hole to fill with brown sugar and a cranberry and threw it in the oil.  It takes about a minute to get nice and golden.  Of course after making about 3, my inner fat kid escaped and had to try one.  So I bit into and it was super crispy and delicious…except in the first bite I didn’t get any cranberry…crap.  So I put the rest in my mouth and got a whole mouthful of cranberry as well as the interesting texture of uncooked batter that surrounded the cranberry.  I think that the cranberry made it too dense to really cook all the way through, and the tang of the cranberry was all concentrated in the center, so you get sweet fritter and then BAM super sour cranberry.  Recipe Fail.

Fortunately, I have failed enough  times in my life (insert high school math joke here) so I know not to give up.  I was determined to make this bastard work…it sounded good and dammit, IT WOULD BE.  So I took the cranberries and chopped them up with my awesome food chopper.  I love my food chopper…it get the job done and you get to beat the hell out of it :) .  So then I threw the chopped cranberry directly into the batter and mixed it in.  I pulled off some dough, rolled it in my well floured hands, then still poked a hole in the middle, but this time I filled it with just the dark brown sugar.

Batter I’m not entirely sure why my hands look like weird chimp hands here, but it was super hard to take the picture with my hands covered in baking crap.

Batter and sugar

Then I rolled the dough around the sugar and fried it.  Once it cooled, I rolled it in cinnamon sugar rather than the recommended powdered sugar.Frying Fritter

I did about 10 of those and then did what most people do when they aren’t sure how something is going to taste…I had someone else taste it.  Luckily, he loved it, so I knew I could eat one :) .  The tang of the cranberry balanced out the sweet of the batter and the brown sugar in the middle made for a fun surprise.  I was really pleased with this recipe.  We ate most of them that night, but I may have eaten the last three for breakfast the next day… :)

Cranberry Fritter

This is definitely a recipe that I will make over and over again.  I have even seen some people put in cranberry and apple, so its super versatile and I’m guessing can be adapted to most of the denser fruits.

Many thanks to Peter who was my willing lab rat, and just an all around good guy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

TT


Circle of life

Posted: November 1st, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

I have been promising the guys I work with that I would have them over for dinner for WEEKS now, and the other night I finally followed through.  Since they are guys I had to make something that was hearty and filling, but still pretty cheap to make, so I decided on meat loaf and mashed potatoes.  I have already gone into my meat loaf recipe, so you guys should know that by now, however I did make a new ‘appetizer’ that I was pretty impressed with.  Screw onion rings…leek rings are the way to go!  They were so amazing, I was even impressed by myself.  All you have to do is take a couple of clean leeks, and cut them into about 1/2 inch slices.  Pull apart the rings so that you have about two to three layers per ring.  Dredge them in flour, then dip them in a milk and egg mixture, then back in the flour and into the oil (at 350ish) until they are golden brown.  Make sure you season the flour with salt and pepper so that their flavor really pops.  The best thing about leek rings is that they are more tender than onion rings, a little sweeter and take a lot less time to fry.  I still have to perfect this, perhaps add some garlic and try buttermilk instead of regular milk, but even in its most basic form, these round pieces of deliciousness are awesome and I recommend giving them a shot.  This will definitely be a newcomer in the super bowl food lineup :)  This is also great because one leek gives you a ton of rings, so its more cost effective :)

IMG00205-20090920-2216

This is all that was left of 4 large leeks with just three people eating…..it was a hit :)

Thanks for reading!

TT