Sunday, 15 September 2013

Courgette & Cheddar Balls

I'm still coming up with ideas for using the bountiful harvest of courgettes, I have to say the success of this particular recipe is down to the miracle that is gram flour. Anyone who has ever tried putting cheese in a rissole or meatless ball and tried to deep fry it will know the cheese leaches out all too easily, creating a oily mess. Gram flour however allows cheese to to be added to courgettes to form these delicious little balls which I enjoyed on top of spaghetti with a simple fresh tomato sauce ckick here for the recipe but they would be equally well received as a canapé with a glass of something cold.

For this recipe (enough to serve 4 in a pasta dish) you will need;
400g of courgettes, grated
130g of mature cheddar, grated
90g of gram flour
2 teaspoons of salt (for leaching out the liquid from the courgettes)
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 of cayenne pepper
Oil for deep frying

Begin by grating the courgettes, place in a bowl and sprinkle on the salt. After 30 minutes transfer the courgettes to a colander or sieve and place a small plate or saucer and a heavy weight over the grated courgette to draw out as much of the liquid as you can. Leave for an hour or so. Most of the salt will be in the liquid that drains away, but even so, I find there is sufficient left in the courgettes not to warrant the addition of any more salt. You should end up with just over 200g of nicely dry grated courgette. Add the grated cheese, gram flour and seasoning. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to form a stiffish mix. Be careful to add the water a little at a time. you need to avoid adding any more than you need. With wet hands form into small balls, slightly smaller than a walnut. Heat up some oil in a large deep container, I use a large Indian karhai. Fry the balls in batches for 3 to 4 minutes until they are a deep golden brown. Drain on some kitchen paper.

You can vary these with the addition of chopped herbs and more or less chilli.

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