Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Delightful Vegetarian Fritters

Good evening everyone!  By pure coincidence, Tyler and I both did vegetarian dishes this week.  I think choosing to have a meatless meal once (or twice or more) a week is not that bad of an idea.  It's all a matter of choosing what ingredients that suit your tastes and make a recipe that sounds delicious.  With that, tonight I've chosen a recipe that not only sounds tasty, but one ingredient in particular has become one of my new fall favorites.

The Recipe:  Spaghetti Squash Fritters with Sriracha Mayonnaise
Original Recipe Found In:  Cooking Light, October 2013

What You'll Need:
1 (2 Pound) Spaghetti Squash*
1 (8 Ounce) package Baby Spinach
1/2 Cup Panko
2 Tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon minced Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 large Egg whites
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
5 Teaspoons Canola Mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons 2% Reduced-Fat Milk
1 Teaspoon Sriracha (or other hot chile sauce)
1 Teaspoon Cider Vinegar

*This is not our first waltz with spaghetti squash, in fact, the first time we used it was almost two years ago.  If you care for a flashback, here's our first journaling on spaghetti squash.

To start, cut the squash in half lengthwise.  All varieties of squash tend to be a little difficult to handle when cutting, so I advise caution when doing so.  Once cut, scoop out the seeds and any remaining innards of the squash and discard.  Place the squash halves, cut sides up, on a microwave safe plate.  Cover with a damp paper towel.  Put in the microwave and cook on high for twenty minutes or until tender.  Take the squash out of the microwave and let stand for 10 minutes.  Once cooled, scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to remove the spaghetti-like strands until it measures four cups.

Next, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the spinach to the pan and cook for two minutes, or until the spinach wilts.  Place both the squash and the spinach on a clean dish towel and squeeze until both ingredients are barely moist.  Place the spinach and squash on a butting board and coarsely chop until well mixed.  Place these ingredients in a large bowl.  Next, add the panko, Parmesan cheese, garlic, black pepper, and baking powder to the large bowl and toss well to combine.

In a medium bowl, add the egg whites.  Beat the eggs with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks begin to form, about five to seven minutes.  Once the eggs are done, gently fold the eggs whites into the squash mixture until all the ingredients well combined.

Using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, fill with the squash mixture.  Place the cup upside down in your hand and gently pat the mixture until it forms a 3/4 inch thick patty.  Repeat the process with the remaining squash mixture, forming ten patties total.  Next, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil and swirl to coat.  Once the skillet is heated, add five patties to the pan and cook for three to five minutes on each side, or until browned.  Transfer the patties to dish and cover to keep warm.  Add the remaining oil to the skillet and cook the remaining patties.

In a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, milk, Sriracha, and cider vinegar and mix well to combine.  Serve with the fritters and enjoy!

The End Result:

If you've never had spaghetti squash, this is great introduction to this tasty and under appreciated vegetable.  Granted the squash doesn't have much of a flavor, but pairing it with spinach and cooking it in olive oil makes it taste superb.  If you are concerned about the patties being cooked through with the limited time given, don't be.  They will be completely warmed through and taste even better.  The olive oil actually gives a nice flavor crunch to the outside of the fritters that vegetable oil or even canola oil could stand up to.  The real kicker is the sauce.  If you don't like really spicy condiments, I would use the sauce sparingly, but when added, it really adds more depth to the fritters that I don't think another sauce could handle.  Overall, a great dish that's worth a shot to try in your kitchen tonight!

Thanks for swinging by tonight.  Stop in on Thursday for a brand new recipe.  Until then,


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