If there is a food that just might unite us all, then we need to make it, share it, and celebrate it! Let’s explore the wonder of fritters; something (finally) we can all agree upon!
No matter what you call them – fritters, croquettes, latkes, pakoras, tikkis, etc – there is just no end to the magic of common ingredients, fried until crispy brown and often paired with a sauce that you crave forever after.
Here’s a photo of our family’s “Thanksgiving Dinner Left-Over Fritters.”
I’m going to give you the recipe for this at the end of this article, and they are something to build an entire family night tradition around. In fact, our fritters are so popular with friends that we have folks unashamedly asking to be invited over for our Fritter Night.
So why Fritters, in these turbulent times?
Well, if you are a frequent visitor here at Ever Widening Circles (EWC), you’ll know we write one article each day to prove this is still an amazing world, despite what the negative 24-hour news cycle tells us.
You’ll find articles here about innovators doing ingenious things to improve the lives of others, innovations in technology and the arts, wonders of the natural world that almost no one knows about and enough good news to keep us writing for decades.
Across it all, we look for common threads that connect us all.
Food can do that.
The daily visitors to EWC come from 190 countries, and I’d venture a guess that most of them have their own irresistible version of the humble “Fritter.”
There’s a lot of ground to cover
Today on EWC, we are going to let the rest of the world worry about the current chaos of politics.
No matter where you are reading this article, treat this article as an island of sanity, connection, and delight, for just for a few minutes.
I’ll share a few favorite fritter recipes from around the world and then I’ll finish with our own family recipe for a fritter that can be the spark for beginning your own family and friend tradition!
So let’s take a little Fritter Adventure:
We’ll start with a recipe I found on the cooking website Saveur: Zucchini Latkes. These are crispy, simple finger delights with a Mexican dipping sauce that looks like it could be used a hundred ways.
Next, let’s visit a favorite from Indonesia. An easy but irresistible recipe from Daily Cooking Quest: Bakwan Jagung Corn Fritters!
I love this recipe but would make one change. I don’t think you would have to deep fry these. I’ve made a similar fritter before and just used canola oil about a half inch (one centimeter) deep.
Also, an easy peanut sauce I found from Cookie + Kate, a 5-star garlic mayo recipe from the Food Network, or a simply boil down some balsamic vinegar to make a dipping sauce, might be fabulous pairings.
Here’s one more I can recommend before we get to the Thanksgiving Left-Over Fritter: Guy Fieri’s Brissin Clam Fritters. I live in Vermont, so will use his tips for making mine out of canned clams. This recipe and the sauce sounds like something to have some real fun with!
Now here’s a family tradition that no one should miss!
Dr. Lynda’s “Thanksgiving Left-Over Fritters”
On the Saturday after the holiday – when the Thanksgiving leftovers are dwindling, but before they become suspect – we put everything into a gigantic, special family bowl. You really need a bulk of leftover dressing and mashed potatoes to do this, and then you can add in the chopped turkey remains, corn, green beans… whatever!
We like to assemble a crowd, watch football, and I sit for hours frying these wonders of nature. Choose your own venue to enjoy these! It doesn’t have to be football. In fact, most of the time, the TV is just on in the background and the fritters seem to make a rallying point for good conversation. We only cheer at a few good plays or commercials.
Here are the directions…
Please note: These are rough measurements… use what you have and remember that the eggs are what hold things together during the frying. If they fall apart, add another egg or two to the batch.
- 3 cups Mashed potatoes or more
- 3 cups Dressing or more
- 2 cups Turkey or more (chopped in very small pieces)
- Corn, beans, or whatever else you have left over
- 4 – 6 eggs
- Put all the ingredients in the biggest bowl you can find.
- Add 4 – 6 raw eggs, depending on how large is the bowl of leftovers.
- Mix the whole mess together, just like you are mixing the ingredients for a meatloaf (this is a great job to give a healthy kid… with freshly washed hands, of course 😉 ).
- After everything is combined well, make patties out of the mixture about the size of large hamburger patties.
- Fry them in a large skillet containing canola oil, about a ¼ inch deep, on medium-high heat.
The fritters will not be greasy if the oil is just the right temperature; not hot enough to smoke though! The oil is hot enough when you can drop a tiny test dab of the dressing mix into the oil and it bubbles well all around the edges.
Don’t flip, turn, or push around the patties, just put them in the oil and leave them to sit and bubble away around the edges until you can peek under them with a spatula and find they totally hold together and are golden/dark brown on the bottom side. They are done when they are very crispy brown on each side.
We have an oven warmed to receive the fritters if nobody wants one fresh from the skillet; you can use a spatula to move them to a platter lined with paper towel.
Note: they will totally lose their crispiness if you do that. It’s better to just stand there and adopt a “fry cook” mentality, and make them to eat immediately.
On our “Fritter Night,” I just don an apron, get a large glass of wine, and sit on a bar stool at the stove, often cooking these for hours. The rule is “cook’s choice” in our kitchen; the payoff is first dibs on the extra crispy fritters! We always seem to have invited a small crowd to eat these and watch a football game, so I cook enough to have plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers.
Here’s the most important tip: have enough gravy and cranberry sauce on hand! A drizzle of gravy over the fritter and a dollop of cranberry sauce on the side will transport you and your guests to another world! Yum… enjoy!
Stay open, curious and hopeful!
~ Dr. Lynda
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