Sunday, January 29, 2012


Actually, Billie is making some other patties here
 It's well and truly fritter season in our household. And we're partial to patties too.

Billie Bites is back with a wad of inspiring recipes after a rather long summer break.

I'll admit I've been hiding a little due to a bit of an extra fussy faze - not mentioning anyone in particular...

But I can now report two solutions for dealing with that fussy toddler: Get them cooking. Make fritters. Oh, there's one more - make patties.

So stay tuned for the play-out of Toddler Master Chef. It helps that Billie actually loves cooking. Really. I can't get her out of the kitchen.

Here's the first in our series of fritters and patties - otherwise known as 'hide the vegetable'.

But they are tasty. And multi-functional. Today I wrapped a warm pile of these straight out of the frying pan to serve at Billie's friend Henry's third birthday party. I think the adults devoured them before the kids got a look-in. Except for Billie - who barely moved from the food  table.

I've been busting for ages to experiment with quinoa in a patty or fritter. I'm very happy with this result - and Billie gobbled back a plateful for dinner this weekend.


These are kind of in between fritters and patties - in that the mixture is too wet to form into solid patties but not quite as wet as a traditional fritter. It works well though.

This makes quite a large batch, but the mixture keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. Half it though if you like. And it's gluten-free (provided you use tamari rather than soy sauce). 

1 cup Quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup water
1 large sweet potato (use the purple-skinned kumara if possible)
1 head of broccoli
butter (optional)
2 eggs, lightly whisked
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
three spring onions, finely chopped (or use one brown onion)
handful mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (depending on how salty you like)
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar (optional)
coconut oil (or olive or rice bran oil)

Peel sweet potato and chop into smallish pieces. Steam until soft enough to mash. Chop broccoli and add to steamer about half way through.

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and place in small pot with water and salt. Bring to boil with lid on, then turn right down low and simmer with lid on until water is absorbed. DON'T STIR. To check if water absorbed simply tilt pan. It will take about 15-20 mins. Once absorbed remove pot from heat and leave to stand with lid off for about 5-10 minutes.

While this is all on the boil, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms (if using) on a medium heat until nicely softened. Add spices and black pepper and stir for 30 seconds.

Mash sweet potato and broccoli, adding a dollop of butter if you fancy. Combine with rest of ingredients. Check seasoning.

When ready to fry heat heavy frying pan over low-medium heat with large tablespoon of coconut oil (or other oil). Dollop a tablespoon of mixture into pan, and repeat until pan is full. Leave room to flip.

Try not to flip too soon - they take longer than you think and will break up if you flip too early. Try them gently with the flipper - when done they will turn easily. Cook on other side for a few minutes, until browned. It's better to be slightly overcooked than under cook when it comes to fritters. Place on a plate lined with newspaper, recycled printed paper or paper towels (newspaper actually works very well and saves on buying all those paper towels).

Add more oil to pan and repeat. 

Delicious hot, warm or cool. No sauce needed but a salad on the side is nice.