Cooking with Mariana

Sweet Corn, Zucchini and Haloumi Fritters
Last month my daughters and I enjoyed a wonderful winter escape to the scenic town of Daylesford, Victoria. We shopped, walked and dined our way through this idyllic village.  Breakfast on our final day was an absolute knockout.

I asked the waiter if the chef would ‘share’ their recipe to which she replied – ‘yes, but then I’ll have to kill you’.  I took a photo, studied it upon return and set about recreating the dish.

When I open my dream cafe, this recipe will most certainly be on the menu.  Simple, delicious country fare at its best.

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini, grated
1 corn cob, kernels removed
2 medium green shallots, finely chopped
1 small brown onion, grated
180gm Haloumi cheese, coarsely grated
50gm Self Raising flour
2 eggs
50mls milk
Cracked pepper
Oil

Method
•    Wrap grated zucchini in paper towelling; squeeze to remove excess liquid. Place in mixing bowl.  Add corn, shallots, onion, Haloumi & flour.  Mix.

•    Whisk together eggs & milk. Add to dry ingredients; stir till thoroughly combined.

•    Season well with cracked pepper. Do NOT salt. Haloumi cheese is quite salty; add salt after tasting if desired.  

•    Pan fry tablespoons of mixture in shallow oil till both sides are nicely done & golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

•    Makes approx. 24 small fritters.

•    Serve on plate with salad leaves, arrange fritters, spoon over red capsicum relish & drizzle salad sparsely with balsamic syrup which is quite sticky & strong in flavour.

Red Capsicum Relish
3 large red capsicums
 cup sugar
2 tbsps lemon or lime juice
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
2 tbsps water
5 cloves garlic, finely sliced
•    Grill or roast capsicums; remove skin; slice into even strips.
•    In small pan combine sugar, vinegar, juice, water; stir till sugar dissolves.
•    Add capsicum strips & garlic; cover; simmer for approx. 15mins; uncover; simmer further till relish looks melded & liquid has reduced. 

Balsamic Syrup
In small pan add  cup balsamic vinegar &  cup caster sugar. Stir over low heat till sugar dissolves. Simmer approx. 15 mins till reduced by half.  Pour into small jar; will thicken on standing.

Tips:
1.    To freeze, place fritters in single layers, between sheets of freezer paper in an airtight container. This makes them easy to separate.

2.    Turn into canapés by placing baby fritters onto sturdy leaves like cos lettuce; dollop with relish & drops of balsamic syrup.  Add avocado or tomato. Don’t forget napkins!