More from the Unloved Vegetables – Wot no veg? So it’s Frozen Parsnip Fritters

I am bereft. I cancelled the veg box order last week as I was away for 4 days (see Cutest Cakes Abroad) and now we are completely vegless.

I didn’t really trust my better half to cope with the relentless veg preparation which would be required to see off the necrotic veg-mush I would likely return to. He is handy in the kitchen having been taught to make a white and a tomato sauce before he left home and these two particular skills have got him a long way with his cooking repertoire. A chemist by training, for him following recipes is a precise business thus he was delighted when I bought some electronic scales with a tare function and a measuring jug with 10 ml delineations ensuring weights and measures henceforth would be correct. (He also enjoys stirring food whilst it’s cooking which used to drive me insane at times until I showed him how to make risotto which has now scratched that particular itch.)

Wot no veg!

However, as all he was likely to serve the kids whilst I was away was variations of things with tomato sauce, (Child 2 not keen on white sauce) I paused the delivery and assumed it would resume this week. But no, in my haste I misread the detail and it seems I will have to wait until next week! eeek! This has led to much scrabbling about in the freezer and a trip to Sainsburys to try to fill the gap. Some would rejoice at the break from root vegetables and leeks etc, but it is as though my comfort blanket has been removed and the overwhelming choice I now have is too great to bear.

Unloved Vegetable No. 3 – Parsnips. I am going to imagine what I would have received instead and I think that parsnips would be going through a last hurrah. We only tend to roast parsnips on Sundays round here and a glut had started to form a week or two back as the specimens have been getting both larger and more numerous. Luckily, on a recent roam around WordPress, South Philly Food Co-op have been making Parsnip Fritters. This caught my eye and as I had a tempura batter mix in the cupboard, awaiting the arrival of the new kitchen extension and subsequent purchase of a deep fat fryer which is still some months off, I decided to use it up devising my own version of these delicacies.

Now my 150g tempura batter mix was made by Yutaka, a mixture of rice, wheat and maybe something else flour and to it I added 220 ml of water (sparkling water is supposed to be good here) and a heaped teaspoon of medium curry powder and a little chopped coriander. However if you can find it, Gram (chickpea) flour gives a sub-continental edge to fritters as the Indian term for these creations would be bhajis. If I had been using gram flour I would have used the same quanties of flour and water. So once you have a spiced batter all you do is add the veg to be frittered. In this case two large parsnips and a quarter of swede, grated. I also threw in a small amount of sweetcorn I had lurking in the fridge. Just mix the whole lot together. I got in there with my fingers and ended up with a sticky goo. I could pick up heaped dessert spoonfuls of mixture and shape it into little loose patties. You are not going for a pancake batter type consistency. Then into a deep sided frying pan (or deep fat fryer) heat 1-2 cms of sunflower oil and once hot (a test drop of mixture should sizzle) drop in 4/5 little patties and cook for 3 minutes per side. This seems very precise but does seem to work. You want deep golden on both sides. Remove to a kitchen papered, warm plate and continue.

These quantities would be enough for 4 adults. We had it with Chana Masala and the left overs went in the freezer. Now if eating defrosted fritters like we are this week just place on a baking tray, once defrosted, and bake for 10-15 minutes in a hot oven (200°C/180-190°C fan). The oil in them returns them to ‘just cooked’ fresh.

It’s hard to make these look very tempting so apologies for the picture!


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