Thursday, July 19, 2012

Broccoli and Cauliflower Fritters

I really like cooking.  I would think that is pretty obvious by now. Putting aside all modesty, I'd say I'm pretty good at it.  But there is one aspect of cooking that I struggle with.  And that is timing all the components of a meal in such a way that they all arrive on the table, steaming hot, at roughly the same time.  

Seriously, it's a challenge.  4:00 p.m. rolls around and I stare at my mostly immaculately clean kitchen and I make a plan.  I calculate the cooking times of the pasta/rice/quinoa and how long the recipe says to saute the onions/peppers/meat.  My steaming chart says it takes some quantity of minutes to steam broccoli/carrots/insert-healthy-sounding-food-here.  With this data I should be able to figure out how to get everything done by five and all at the same time.  It is, after all, basic math.  I taught math, this shouldn't be hard.

But it is.

It happens to be so very hard.

At least for me.

All the "30 minute meal" cook books in the world can't change that.  I suppose my current excuse is that I have a toddler running around my feet, pulling storage containers and utensils from drawers or, quite literally, tugging at the apron strings.  But what was my excuse before I had a child.  And what will be my excuse once I no longer have a child bothering me every minute of the day.  Perhaps I'll have it figured out by then.

I wish the kid would eat vegetables for the sake of eating vegetables.  It would make coordinating a meal that much easier.  Instead, I must be tricky and coat the vegetables in something to make them more appealing.  I think he's onto me...

Broccoli and Cauliflower Fritters
Makes 8 fritters

2 cups broccoli, separated into large florets.   
2 cups cauliflower, cut into large pieces
2 eggs
1/2 cup white wheat flour (feel free to substitute all purpose)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste (I recommend coarse salt)
1 Tbs. oil

1. Steam the broccoli and cauliflower for about 5 minutes, or until crisp tender.  (If feeding younger babies, steam it a couple of minutes longer.)
2. Allow to cool slightly and then coarsely chop.
3. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl.  Whisk in the flour, cheese, garlic and salt and pepper.  Fold in the broccoli and cauliflower.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil to the skillet and swirl it around until hot.
5. Drop batter by large spoonfuls into the hot oil.  Flatten with the back of your spoon.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until brown and crispy, and flip.  Cook an additional 2 minutes or so until the remaining side is brown and crispy.  Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
6. Enjoy plain or with a side of ranch or sour cream.

What the husband thinks:  He really enjoys these.  It's no secret that we both have a penchant for anything broccoli.  At first, he thought these were just for the kid and he sheepishly asked if he could have one.  His eyes lit up when I said he could, of course.

What the kid ate: These fritters topped with seasoned breadcrumbs.  He wouldn't eat them plain.  He was a little grumpy about eating them...but he did.  I won!

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