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Ottolenghi’s leek fritters – what’s not to like?!

July 31, 2011

For some reason I skipped bookmarking this recipe until I saw someone else’s creation on a book review of Plenty. See, they don’t look that great, but when you actually read through the recipe – leeks, shallots (in my case, red onions), spices, and enough batter to hold it together, then fried until delectably golden – there’s no way you can avoid making them for much longer.

There are a few things you should know. First, mine were a bit overly moist, but this could either be that I overcooked the leeks or that I used cream and water rather than butter and milk (I rarely buy milk, and using cream is so much easier than melting butter). This wasn’t a problem for either of us, but if it is for you, reduce the amount of water and don’t cook the shenanigans out of the leek. Second, you can try different spices if you want, and I can imagine something mustardy would work particularly well with these. Don’t just omit all the spices though. Third, these do take a bit of time to prep everything and you’ll make a mess. However, they are worth it and great for a lazy Sunday brunch, with a fantastic lingering aroma.

Also, I promise this will be the last fritter recipe for a while…unless smoked salmon potato cakes count. I’m sorry, but I really do LOVE a good fritter/patty/pancake – they’re usually more interesting than meat patties, and even though they’re a bit fiddly, I usually make vegetable based ones so that really, they’re a complete meal. If you could eat patties and nothing else, that’d be pretty sweet, right?

Leek fritters

adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty ever so slightly for lazier cooks

makes 12 ordinary palm sized fritters – four on their own are good for brunch but they are rather filling.

  • about 450g sliced leek (2cm)
  • 5 shallots or 3 small red onions (I used the latter), finely chopped
  • a buttload of olive or cooking oil
  • optional: 1 fresh red chilli, sliced, or dried equivalent (I’m a wimp, so omitted)
  • about 25g, or a handful, parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • optional: 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I omitted)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg white (freeze the yolk with a tiny pinch of salt)
  • 120g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml cream
  • 50ml water
  • To serve: lime or lemon wedges, more parsley to garnish
In a large fying pan, cook leek and shallots/red onion in enough oil that they’re lightly coated, on medium heat, until they’re soft. I browned them a little, because I like browned bits on my veges. Set aside to cool. Rinse frypan.
In a medium/large bowl, whisk egg white until soft peaks form. Fold through the veges, spices, parsley, sugar and salt.
In a medium/small bowl, whisk egg, cream, water together until uniform, then whisk in the flour and baking powder until incorporated. Fold this into the egg white/vege mixture.
Heat oven to 100C (210F), place your serving platter in the oven. Heat about 2 Tbs oil in the same frypan. Once hot (a water droplet should go beserk when you flick it into the pan), place generous spoonfuls of batter in the pan. Once the edges start browning, it’s safe to flip (2-3minutes). Let cook until the other side is golden. Place cooked fritters on serving platter in the oven to keep warm.

Currently Clickalicious

Fresh corn and spring onion cornbread @ Like a Strawberry Milk/Comme un Lait Fraise

Dairy free spinach stuffed shells @ PBS Food

Aubergine vegetarian balls @ Un Dejeuner de Soleil

Potato galette @ The Bitten Word

Mango kulfi (ice cream, without an ice cream maker) @ Foodess

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2011 4:09 pm

    They look yummy, I would probably do them with chickpea flour :-).

    I have a blogging event for Kiwis

    first round, would you like to take part? No stings attached :-)


  2. peasepudding permalink
    July 31, 2011 4:56 pm

    We all seem to be made on Ottolenghi ay the moment, I made their black pepper tofu on Friday and it was incredible. I will have to at this one too at some point.

  3. July 31, 2011 10:47 pm

    A: Oh like pakoras! Yes that would be really tasty, and much healthier too :)
    Also I will definitely be partaking in the sweets round up! I can easily handle a monthly thing I think.

    P: Oh I’d never heard of that, just googled it. LOVE preparing tofu with the cornflour “batter” – it’s so super easy (no pressing or marinating for hours) and deliciously crispy, and holds sauce much better. Also think it’s great that he’s using butter in Asian-inspired stuff. Tastes even better.

  4. August 2, 2011 6:48 pm

    Yum! So want to try these out, they look amazing & I heart anything Ottolenghi. And love Alessandra’s idea of chick pea flour.

  5. August 2, 2011 8:50 pm

    M: Yes do let me know how that turns out if you try it! Am trying not to buy too many flours as my pantry is fit to burst! I feel like doing some sort of “pantry bits” swap!

  6. August 3, 2011 7:03 pm

    I am totally a fritter fan! But I tend to be a bit hit-and-miss at making them, they’re either brilliant or they all fall to pieces and get turned into ‘hash’. Hooray for more Ottolenghi!

  7. August 3, 2011 9:20 pm

    H: Yes I’m the same…I think breadcrumb recipes and falafel recipes that don’t have a bit of flour in them tend to do that the most, or potato cakes.

  8. August 6, 2011 6:56 am

    Salmon potato cakes? Yes, please. These look fabulous too.

  9. Gina permalink
    August 15, 2011 7:21 pm

    These were INCREDIBLE! Thank you so much for sharing, I used them as a pattie for some bagel burgers (they went very well with coriander pesto). I made the recipe vegan too, just replacing egg with ‘no-egg’ and cream with soy milk. I just had to thank you for the recipe, my family raved about them :)

  10. August 15, 2011 7:37 pm

    R: Your wish is my command

    G: Thanks for the feedback! Also nice to know you can make them vegan easily. Cheers!

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