Fritter your veg, not your money

Karen Recipe pic

Posted on: 3rd August, 2017

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

I left home, many moons ago, armed with my Hamlyn all-colour cookbook, not knowing how to cook, but full of enthusiasm.

There were numerous culinary disasters and one mighty boo boo. Shortly after I left home, I was living in an apartment in Antwerp. I’d just moved in and invited a few friends for dinner. I headed off to the big supermarket where I was seduced by these cute little peppers. They were about the size of a walnut, bright red, a little wrinkly and dead cheap. Dinner was a kind of vegetable and rice dish, which everyone spectacularly spat out, then started gasping and rolling around the room in agony. It turned out that my bargain cute peppers were in fact habeneros, hot chillies, which are right up there on the heat scale. Not knowing what to do with this lethal pot of food I hastily disposed of it down the toilet before we all headed out for bags of frites with mayonnaise. The next day I was accosted by a very upset landlord, as there was a huge plumbing problem in the building, which he was trying to get to the root of. When he discovered what I had done he couldn’t believe that someone could be so stupid as to put an entire pot of food down the toilet. I have never made either of these mistakes again!

As the focus of this month’s edition is students and education, I thought I’d pass on this little bit of knowledge and give a couple of pointers to equip someone leaving home with a basic kitchen kit to cook with ease. Although most properties come furnished, the kitchen is often a dodgy area. My suggestion would be to go armed with a medium frying pan. Not too shallow, about 24cm in size and with a heavy base that will distribute and hold the heat. If a lid is needed you can use a dinner plate

A grater, a paring knife/peeler, and a sharp knife are my other three essentials. The knife will only stay sharp if treated with respect so you might want to hide it if you are house sharing. Don’t use this knife to cut bread, to hack at frozen food nor chop on a marble or stone surface.

After that a decent sized chopping board is always a bonus.

Vegetable fritters are a easy recipe, which can be made with whatever is in the vegetable basket. They are infinitely flexible, cheap to make and taste just as good hot or cold.

They can be made with a combo of any of the following: Grated carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot or spuds; Grated courgettes, lightly salted, left for ten minutes then squeezed to remove the excess liquid; Lightly cooked and chopped broccoli or cauliflower; Blanched and finely shredded spinach, kale or chard; Frozen peas or sweetcorn.

For extra jizz add any of the following: Finely chopped onion, garlic and/or ginger; Freshly chopped herbs – parsley, coriander, basil or chives; A teaspoon of cumin or coriander, curry powder etc; Crumbled cheese = Feta works particularly well but grated cheddar or parmesan is good too

The basic batter is the same whatever the vegetable. Here are two versions, one is vegan and the other with eggs. Swop and change the vegetables and flavourings – just use the same ratio of the ingredient you are replacing  and mix with the batter.

Carrot, Sweetcorn and Ginger Fritters


2-3 grated carrots

1 cup sweetcorn

2-3tbs olive oil

1 red onion, peeled and chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

3cms ginger peeled and finely chopped

5 tbs gram flour – sifted

half tsp salt

1tsp baking powder

cold water

oil to fry


Sift the gram flour, salt and baking powder onto a bowl. Stir in enough water to make a thick pouring batter.

Stir in the grated carrot, sweetcorn, chopped onion, garlic and ginger.

Heat a large frying pan, add enough oil to just cover the bottom and drop in tablespoons of batter mix. Control the temperature so that the fritters are gently sizzling. Cook until golden brown on each side. Don’t do this too quickly or the fritter will be raw in the centre.

Broccoli Fritters


1 head broccoli- cooked and broken into small floret

1 red onion-peeled and thinly sliced

100g flour

1 heaped tsp baking powder

3 eggs

100g feta,

half tsp salt

handful chopped herbs – coriander/parsley/chives/chervil- whatever you have


1tsp cumin or coriander plus 1 tsp turmeric

chillies could also be good


Whisk the eggs, baking powder, salt, dry spices if you are using and flour together. Break up the onion and stir into the batter together with the cooked broccoli and fresh herbs (if you have some). Crumble in the feta.

Heat a pan and add a little sunflower oil to fry then drop in a heaped tablespoonful of the batter. Leave enough room for them to spread and don’t poke them about. Cook gently for about four minutes then turn and cook the other side.

Both of these fritters are delicious eaten with a little sauce on the side for dunking

Try sweet chilli sauce, crème fraiche, natural yoghurt, mayonnaise or possibly ketchup.

Serve with a pile of salad and you’re sorted.

Happy frittering!


Lettercollum Kitchen Project

22 Connolly Street


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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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