Friday, July 17, 2009

Herbed Fritters with Pesto Aioli

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Herbed Potato Fritters

These are the most divine little appetizers I have had in a long time. The flavor combinations are out of this world. Take a bit of time but well worth the effort!


1 lb. Russet potatoes (About 2), peeled and cut into cubes
Sea salt
2 C. Flour
2 t. Fresh herbs, chopped (Thyme, parsley, rosemary, marjoram)
3 T. Scallions, sliced thin and slightly minced
1 T. Grated lemon zest
1/2 t. finely minced garlic
Fresh ground pepper
2 Eggs
½ C. Olive oil
Vegetable oil for frying

For the starter:
¼ C. warm water
1 T. Flour
1 ¼ t. Active dry yeast

Pesto Sauce:
½ C. Mayonnaise
¼ C. Prepared Pesto

Step one: Make the starter for the fritters. In a small bowl, combine the water, flour and yeast. Mix well and set aside in a warm place to activate and is covered with small tiny bubbles. (Should take approximately 45 minutes to rise)

Step two: In a large pan, boil water with a tablespoon of salt added. Add the prepared potatoes and reduce heat to medium. Let them cook for about 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain and place into a bowl. Mash with a fork. Cool completely.

Step three: In a large bowl combine the cooled potatoes, starter, flour, herbs, scallions and lemon zest. Mix well. Add the eggs and olive oil and combine. The batter will be thick and sticky. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. About 1.5 to 2 hours.

Step four: Pesto sauce is made by mixing ½ cup mayonnaise and ¼ cup prepared pesto.

Step five: Use a wok or minimum 8 inch deep stock pot. Add enough oil to reach 3 inches. Bring oil to 375 degrees. Each fritter will be about a 1 tablespoon of batter. Add enough fritters to the pan without over crowding. Carefully flip with a slotted spoon to prevent over browning. (Should take about 2 to 3 minutes) Place onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain.

Step six: Serve quickly onto a warm platter. If making in advance, up to one hour before your event, you can keep in a 250 degree oven.

(Adapted from Michael Chiarello's recipe - from his book "At Home with Michael Chiarello")

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