This week's Food Matters Project recipe was for Braised Chickpeas and Vegetables, chosen by Lena of Mrs. Garlic Head. Although I was tempted to try Bittman's recipe as is, I also debated on several other options... a salad, a sandwich filling felafel-style, fritters... and fritters eventually won.
And these fritters are winners indeed. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside but with a satisfying little crunch compliments of the al dente onion and zucchini. The chickpea flavor does not overpower, nor do the mushrooms or red chiles. In fact, it was rather surprising to discover how well the flavors blended in such a short time, a lovely mix of savory and spicy, soft and crisp. A little dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a little added punch of red chile paste to top it off and I was in fritter heaven.
I assure you, after this foray, I will no more fritter my time away not making fritters. They're too easy, too tasty, too fabulous not to. I just have to be sure I don't go overboard into a fritter frenzy, which would be easy to do. Addictive little things they are.
Chickpea Mushroom Zucchini Fritters
Makes 12-15, depending on size
1 15.5-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup milk
¾ cup flour
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
4 medium mushrooms, finely chopped
½ bell pepper, finely chopped (I used orange bell pepper, but any will do)
½ shallot or ¼ small red or white onion, finely chopped (I used red onion)
2 Tbs. fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley, tarragon, and oregano)
½ tsp. dried red chile flakes
Peanut oil or other oil of your choice
Place drained and rinsed chickpeas in food processor and blend until roughly chopped.
Whisk together mild and eggs till blended, then add flour and whisk until blended in.
Add garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, pepper, shallot or onion on top of mixture, then fold in gently until well blended. Do not stir.
Pour enough oil in a large skillet to just cover the bottom. Heat to medium-high. When oil is ready, add about ¼ cup fritter mixture to the skillet. Spread lightly with a spatula to flatten a bit and provide more surface area for crisping. Add more mixture for one or two more fritters, but do not crowd—they should not touch.
Cook each fritter for 2-3 minutes, then check to see if the bottom is getting crisp and brown. If it is, flip it; if not, give it another minute or so. Once flipped, check again after a couple or three minutes. Fritters should be golden, crispy, and just cooked through.
Transfer cooked fritters to a plate covered with paper towels to drain. Cover to keep warm and/or place in warm oven.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and chutney, salsa, red chile paste, or other spicy condiment of your choice.