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tapas week

Have I ever told you how much I completely and totally LOVE it when someone cooks for me? Actually, they don’t even have to cook for me.

What I meant to say is “how much I love it when someone feeds me.” It can be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or an elaborate 5-course meal. Honestly, either one is a huge treat!

seasoned with loveJust about the worst thing you can say to any cooking professional is, “I could never cook for you, I’d be so intimidated.”

What!?!?

We, of all people, know the love and work that goes into preparing food for another. Don’t leave us out – we need love too!

One of my friends who understands this is Peggy. She never hesitates to cook for me. As a matter of fact, Peggy invited her sister Terrie, Anne, and me over for dinner the weekend before last. Well, we thought it would be dinner, instead it turned out to be tapas – even better!

As always, we had fun catching up, laughing up a storm, and just being together. And the food? Fantastic, of course!

3 tapas

Peggy made all four of the dishes from one cookbook: Tapas – Tantalizing Small Plates from the Mediterranean by Pamela Clark. Funny thing is, she thinks she may have gotten the book from me when I had THIS party.

I’ll share the recipe for each dish over the coming week. Today, I’m sharing my favorite of the four.

Oh yes, all the recipes are altered slightly from the original version. For instance, I doubled the relish and more flour was needed for a better consistency fritter batter. Plus, salt was added, the fritters really needed SALT! There wasn’t any in the original recipe.

asparagus artichoke fritters with olive dip

Artichoke and Asparagus Fritters with Olive Relish

Relish
1 cup pitted green olive, finely chopped
1 cup pitted black olive, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Fritters
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped of and finely chopped
4-ounce can artichokes in brine, drained and finely chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup self-rising flour
1  1/2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil, for frying in a skillet

Relish: Combine all ingredients in a medium serving bowl and cover until ready to serve.

Fritters: Combine asparagus, artichoke, eggs, mint, Parmesan, flour, and salt in a medium bowl.

Pour about 1 1/2-inches of oil in a deep skillet and heat until a tiny drop of water sizzles. Drop heaping tablespoons of the fritter mixture, in batches, until browned all over and cooked through, turning over once with a slotted spoon or spatula. Drain on paper towels. Season with added salt, if desired, serve immediately with relish.

Makes about 3 dozen


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2 comments

1 Marissa { 08.12.13 at 8:44 AM }

I have never been able to successfully make fritters. They always burn, or don’t cook all the way, or are too oily.

2 Linda Hopkins { 08.12.13 at 9:10 AM }

Marissa – Reasons for your issues: Burn – the most obvious, oil is too hot. Don’t cook all the way through – again the oil may be too hot, burning the outside while not having time to cook the inside, or oil is either just right or it’s too cool and you’re not leaving them in long enough. Oily – the worst – I’d rather eat a burnt fritter than an oily one! Oil is too cool and the fritters soak up the oil before they even begin cooking.

Solution? Buy a candy thermometer (do NOT use an instant read thermometer, it only goes up to 220 degrees) and check your oil before adding fitters. Perfect temp? 350 degrees. 340 to 360 is the good range.

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