Recipe of the Month Cafe Paradiso

These fritters take about 20 minutes to make but are so worth it. Dennis Cotter pairs them with mash and a mushroom sauce but I reckon they’d work with anything with a sauce (curries, chilli, thick casseroles etc.) or even with salads. Try replacing the dried dill with turmeric to serve with a curry. I used Only Natural organic black rice in place of wild rice, it has a lovely flavour and texture, why not cook extra to use in salad?

Ingredients (Serves Four)

150g cooked wild rice (50g raw rice)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
120g parsnip, grated
3 eggs
50ml milk
50ml yoghurt
100g flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
salt and pepper
chopped parsley, fresh dill or fennel
2 tsp baking powder

Recipe of the month Wild Rice and Parsnip Fritters
Recipe of the Month Wild Rice and Parsnip Fritters

1. Cook the wild rice with a ratio of 2:1 of cold water to rice, eg 400mls water to 200g rice.  Bring them to the boil together in a heavy pan, then simmer, covered, for 50-60 minutes at a very low heat.  Ideally all the water will be gone and the rice will be perfectly cooked.  Alternatively, boil the rice at a rolling boil in lots of water, testing it occasionally, until it is done – safer option, but you will lose a lot of nutrition, flavour and colour.  If you do cook only a tiny amount of rice, this would, however, be the best way.
2. Cook the onion, garlic and fennel seeds in a little oil for a few minutes, then add the grated parsnip and continue cooking for a few minutes more, but don’t allow the parsnip to cook more than a little.
3. Whisk the eggs, milk and yoghurt together, then whisk these into the flour with the nutmeg, dill and mustard, to get a thick batter.
4. Now stir in the cooked vegetables and the wild rice.  Season well with salt and pepper, and toss in some chopped parsley, fresh dill or fennel, if you feel inclined.
5. Add the baking powder just before you start to fry the fritters.  In a wide frying plan, heat some oil to a low, steady temperature, then drop in tablespoons of the batter – as many as the pan will take, they won’t spread.
6. You will need three for each person.  Cook them for a few minutes, then flip each one over to cook the other side.  You may need to flip them a couple of times, until they are lightly browned and firm to touch, then keep them warm in the oven while you cook another batch. It’s best to keep them frying gently without either browning them too quickly or letting the temperature drop to below a cooking level; they should take about eight minutes too cook through.

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