Sunday, August 16, 2009
black eyed pea fritters with spicy dipping sauce
black eyed peas are a food that i love but never seem to incorporate into my dishes. i think it was a sign when i stumbled across two recipes for black eyed pea fritters, one in vegan soul kitchen and one in vegnews magazine, that it was time to stop ignoring these delightful little peas. both recipes sounded equally tasty but i opted for the one in vegnews due to the shorter chilling time. like my first stab at empanadas i feel that choosing a recipe out of laziness or impatience backfired. though the called for chilling time was only 20 minutes they were not nearly firm enough at that point. i think they could use a full hour (as the other recipe suggested). anyway, i believe these are west african in origin and they pack a lot of flavor and some heat into each little fritter thanks to the abundance of spices. once i figured out how to work around their non-firmness* they fried up into perfect little fritters. while i played it safe and stuck with my fork, kris was brave enough to pick one up and dip and eat it....and it didn't fall apart! if that's not a successful fritter i don't know what is. and as a compromise, i paired them with the suggested spicy dipping sauce for the vegan soul kitchen fritters.
black eyed pea fritters
15 ounce can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot chili seeded and minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup coarse cornmeal (or whatever cornmeal you have)
canola oil for frying (about 2 cups)
in a food processor, process black eyed peas. add onion, garlic, chili, bell pepper and spices and process until smooth. shape into 1 1/2 inch fritters and refrigerate, about one hour.
place cornmeal in a shallow bowl and dredge fritters on both sides. heat oil over medium heat and fry fritter until golden on both sides. move to a plate lined with paper towels to drain before servings.
earlier in the day we stopped in our favorite plant store plant it earth. while paying for our purchase i noticed a little bowl of orange peppers and a sign saying "take one!" the woman who rang us up kept warning me that they are SUPER hot little habanero chilis and to be careful. well wouldn't ya know that the spicy dipping sauce called for a habanero. it was meant to be. i know all the pictures aren't really necessary but it was so cute i had to do a whole photoshoot.....and i just can't keep it to myself. seriously, is this not the cutest pepper you have ever seen!?
hot pepper sauce
(from vegan soul kitchen)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
coarse sea salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 habanero chili, minced
1/4 c tomato paste
1/4 c tomato sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 c water
1/4 tsp white pepper
in a saucepan over low heat, warm the oil. add the onion, cumin, cayenne and 1/2 tsp salt and saute until the onions start to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
stir in the garlic and chili and saute for 2 minutes more. add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, vinegar, and water. mix well and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes.
transfer all ingredients to a blender, add the pepper and puree until smooth. season with additional salt to taste.
*if your fritters aren't firm after awhile in the fridge and you don't feel like waiting any longer just roll the blob around in the cornmeal then form it into a ball incorporating the cornmeal. flatten the ball a bit and toss some more cornmeal on the outside and you should be good to go and fry away. just be gentle when flipping.