Butternut Fritters

I haven’t forgotten about this blog—but my house is a little disjointed, inside and out. Cooking has not been high on my list of things to do.

First of all … I am a construction zone! Parts of my house that have been falling apart for years are now being fixed. In general, I’m happy to see the work being done. Of course, I wish the process were less expensive. And I wish the nice construction guys would arrive just a tad later in the morning. I’m thrilled that the house is going to be solid again, however.

My Driveway

My nice friend Michael has also been painting inside the house. I envisioned a soft buttery yellow for the living room so I bought many, MANY paint-sample cans and had friends help me paint swatches on the living-room wall. For a while the room looked like a patchwork quilt. We finally decided on a very light yellow. Even after all of my consultations and deliberations, I’m not 100 percent sure that the color is not TOO light and TOO yellowy. (I’d show you a picture, but the color doesn’t show up well on my camera.)

It’s clean and fresh, however, so I’ll live with it quite happily. Now if I could just remember where everything went on the walls and in the room before we moved it all in order to paint!

Michael also painted the kitchen a brighter yellow, which I adore. While he was painting, however, cooking not only slowed down. It stopped.

Finally, the indoor space has been disrupted by two adorable little boy foster kittens who are staying with us for a while. Luckily, my own Ruby and Truffle adore them. Having three young cats in the house makes things awfully lively, however, particularly in the middle of the night. The good news: the mice coming in for the winter are being hunted down relentlessly. The bad news: my feather boas apparently look like big mice.

Ruby is very proprietary about her friend Jojo.

Despite all the chaos I did decide to create a new recipe a couple of days ago. Before my farm share ended last week, the farm supplied us with a couple of months’ worth of squash. I love squash, particularly butternut squash. I’m happy eating it mashed or made into soup or roasted in the oven.

With all the rain, however, I was longing for something novel and (I admit it) slightly fattening. So I decided to try fritterizing some squash.

I’m partial to savory rather than sweet fritters so these are just a little spicy. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure whether they’re fritters or pancakes; they have a certain latke-like consistency. Whatever they are, they’re extremely satisfying now that the weather is getting just a bit cooler. I imagine one could make them with other types of fall squash.

Here’s the recipe. I’ll be back with another when things calm down a bit on the home front!

Butternut Whatevers

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (a little less if you don’t like spice)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
chopped chives, parsley, and/or cilantro as desired
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (generous) grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups grated butternut squash (peel the squash first and scoop out the seeds and goop; 2 cups will be about half of a small squash)
peanut, canola, or even olive oil as needed for frying

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, salt, spices, herbs, and garlic. Stir in the flour, followed by the cheese. Mix with a spoon until blended; then stir in the grated squash. Your batter will be mostly squash.

Pour oil into a frying pan until it just about covers the bottom of the pan when you swirl it around to distribute it. Heat the oil until it is about 350 degrees. (It will shimmer!)

Pop spoonsful of batter into the hot oil.

Cook the batter quickly, turning as needed, until it is golden brown. Do not crowd the fritters in the pan! They will be idiosyncratic but lovely. Add a little more oil if you really must for frying.

When individual fritters are ready drain them on paper towels and store them in the warm oven until all the fritters have been cooked.

Serves 4 to 6 generously.

Butterscotch and Truffle

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9 Responses to “Butternut Fritters”

  1. Indeed the butternut squash and its frittified transformation add to the repertoire, the photos of Rhubarb and Truffle with the kittens are charming, and status reports on living room colors much appreciated… but what’s with the fire engine in the construction equipment picture? Is fritter preparation really that risky?

    Scanning the above paragraph it strikes me that a rhubarb-based truffle might be worth exploring, both for its palette pleasing (or surprising) potential, and also because the subsequent posting’s title will provide appropriate ghastly imagery for Hallowe’en (Truffle and Rhubarb listed as main ingredients, poor things!). And volunteer fire departments are rarely required for truffle making.

  2. tinkyweisblat says:

    Happily, my life is not THAT exciting, Flaneur. The alleged fire truck is just one of the many construction vehicles gracing my lawn. As for the truffles, they will have to wait; the rhubarb is definitely a think of the past … for this year at any rate.

  3. Perhaps the rhubarbian truffles are still possible. Last week, in Whole Foods, I purchased a bag of frozen, diced rhubarb stalks for something less than $3.00. Given what rhubarb was going for in the produce section of Whole Foods last spring, I thought the frozen version was a bargain. I intend to make a rhubarb custard pie using Florette Zuelke’s recipe. Or maybe I’ll buy some chocolate and truffle-ize the rhubarb. Remember your recipe for rhubarb fritters? Maybe they could be partially dipped in chocolate?

  4. Grad says:

    I know what you mean about construction. First we had bamboo floors laid in Shorty’s house, then a pipe burst and ruined all the floors, except the bedrooms, and the kitchen cabinets and drywall. So we got new cabinets and new flooring. When the cabinets were being installed, the worst termite damage the contractor had ever seen was found behind the damaged drywall, so…all appliances, floor, walls, and ceiling in the kitchen were pulled out. It was down to a bare shell, all the studs and rafters had to be rebuilt and my son, Charlie (who is living there now) lived for 2 months in a dusty construction zone. As of one week ago it was finished and it is beautiful. So hang in there. I love squash, I love fried anything, so I must try these “whatevers.”

  5. tinkyweisblat says:

    My goodness, Grad, I won’t complain again; poor Charlie. I hope he’s enjoying the beauty. And Flaneur, since you’re closer to Whole Foods than I am I’ll let YOU experiment and report back to me!

  6. Carolyn says:

    I tried these and enjoyed them very much. Thanks a bunch! I also intended to send a reply to the sweet potato fries, since they are one of my favorite veggies. I even make sweet potato pickles. I have yet to meet anyone else who makes them, or has even heard of them.I thought perhaps you might be interested in my great grandmother’s recipe, and also a “fiddled” version because I just have not the brain to figure out most of granny’s recipes.

    Beet, Carrot, Sweet Potato or Turnip Pickles

    Peel (not beets-do that after) and cook chosen vegetable
    Pack in boiled jars and don’t forget too also boil jar hats
    Cover with brine
    When cool dip lids 1″ deep in sealing was

    Brine

    1 jug water
    1 jug apple cider vinegar
    Cloves
    Allspice
    Stick cinnamon

    Tie spices in cotton bag
    Mix everything together an boil until sugar is dissolved + 5 minutes
    Pour over chosen vegetable
    Place one cinnamon stick in each jar and seal

    My “Fiddled” Version of Brine

    2 c apple cider vinegar
    2 c water
    3/4 c sugar
    1 tsp whole cloves
    1 tsp pickling spice
    1 cinnamon stick per jar (I break the stick in half when using pint jars)

    I have not made the turnip pickles, but have done the others.

    Pack in boiled jars.

  7. tinkyweisblat says:

    Fascinating, Carolyn. I would probably try processing the jars. Once my kitchen is more organized, I want to mak these. Thanks to you and your granny!

  8. Dena says:

    The creamy butter yellow you are looking for is concord ivory-a ben moore historical color. I have my dining room painted concord ivory and i can’t take my eyes off the walls. It’s sublime when the sun shines on it.

  9. tinkyweisblat says:

    Aha! Thank you, Dena. I’ll look for it … when I get over the current chaos in my house and can face more painting. It sounds glorious.

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