Tuesday, August 17, 2004

weed fritters... sweetie.. pumpkin

feeling glum. death - fairly close and quite distant. trying to find the words for a bereaved friend. a friend too far away for me to look after, or cook for. also, reading: How to end the war of 1948: Israel/Palestine which ain't helping my mood. I'm going to write something once I've finished it - it's lethal. but i promised food writing and I have been cooking. so...

weed fritters
it was gloriously sunny yesterday. me and gab were gardening - about as good as a suburban afternoon at home can get. picked some weeds (dandelion and nettle) to make the greek recipe I'd been wanting to try for a while: hortakeftedes. (horta=wild greens, keftedes = fritters)
lou wouldn't eat them, everyone else was pretty into them. afterall - who cares if they're weeds, they're fried! tom was way impressed though - kept saying "you cooked the weeds!" they woulda been awesome with beer in the sun. or as part of some lush mezze spread with olives and dips.
if you want to try you can use your own weeds, or beetroot tops, spinach.. whatever. i saw an old guy picking weeds on an empty block in braebrook today. he looked like the same guy I once saw picking weeds from our front yard in footscray. i wanted to stop and ask him how he cooked them but I was running late.

250g plain flour
60g polenta
2 egg yolks, beaten up
0.25 cup soy milk
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
weeds (about 250g)

* mix the flour, polenta, milk and egg yolks together in a bowl - it's very dry so of course i got carried away and added heaps of milk.. but later the greens add wetness so resist.
* leave it somewhere peaceful to rest for 30 minutes.
* cook your weeds in boiling salted for 10 minutes with the garlic.
* drain and rinse in cold water. drain well.
* add garlic and greens to the floury mixture.
* season with salt and pepper and stir well.
* heat about 1cm of olive oil in a heavy frypan
* shape mixture into fritters - add flour if too wet.
* fry 5 minutes on each side or until golden.
* serve with yoghurt and cold beer.

pumpkin scones.
well, i feel a little betrayed by flo. supposedly the pumpkin scones recipe is the one she served prince charles.. the one i made as a child. but it didn't really work. they didn't rise enough. "embarassing", as nell said. it didn't help that i kinda burnt them because i was frying fritters. today i added more baking powder to the mix and they were more like i remembered - fluffy, orange and doughy with just that hint of bicarb taste that tom says defines a scone. definite tea party material. texta says they're too sweet but tom eats them with golden syrup on top. it's hard to please the housies.
here's the recipe:

1 tablespoon butter
0.5 cup sugar
0.25 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
2 - 2.25 cups self raising flour, sifted
(i added half a teaspoon of baking powder today. you could go as high as a teaspoon)

* preheat your oven very hot (225 - 250C)
* beat butter, sugar, salt with electric mixer
* add egg, then pumpkin.
* stir in flour by hand
* turn onto floured board and press or roll out not too thin - maybe an inch.
* cut into circles with a cup
* place on heated floured tray
* cook on top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes or so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi esti

i got murderously jealous for about twenty seconds that you and bindy went on a chocolate crawl without me, then i remembered that i don't really like chocolate that much. today i feel spewy so all i can eat is water crackers and coca-cola.

but enough of the small talk, i was so excited about your weed fritters ('what, fritters with weed in them?!' 'no nell, weeds. weeds. like from the garden. dandelions and stuff.' 'oh.') that it must have stirred up some deep deep cell-level memories of my weed-eating ancestors. so off i went to consult my scottish cookbook, in which such ingredients as oatmeal and tallow tend to feature rather heavily, and sure enough there is a recipe for weed dumplings! dumplings with weeds in them! we love dumplings! and weeds! yay. and i'm sure we could replace the mutton fat with something nicer.

in other food news, there was this review in the age of david and camy's, the establishment formerly known as winston's, and they reviewed all these yummy-sounding dishes that i didn't even know they had there, like fresh soy beans (edadame?) and radish buns and stuff. that made me feel a bit like you feel when you have a lover who never goes ice-skating with you and then you break up with them and a little later you hear that they have a new lover who they go ice-skating with all the time.

see you soon spunk, perhaps over masala dosai??

love nell xx