Crispy Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

Broccoli Fritters (2 of 13)

Broccoli will never have to taste so bland again!!!

Why not switch up the way you cook broccoli and make fritters instead? Incorporating all the goodness of broccoli with some naughty indulgence of parmesan, I present to you thy crispy broccoli fritter. Serve these crispy fritters with some greek yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice (I swirled in some pesto too). Vegetables no longer have to taste so bland ever again! In fact, your children (for those of you who have them) may even like it so much that they will be  persistently asking you to fry them some everyday.

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Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. It is especially rich in Vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamins K, A, B6 and E, as well as folic accident fibre. It is a very good source of phosphorous, potassium, magnesium. It also contains glucosinolates, phytochemical with tremendous anticancer effects, and the carotenoid lutein. A 3/5 ounce (100 gram) searching of cooked broccoli provides 35 calories, 2/3 grams of protein, no cholesterol, 0.4 gram of fat, 7.2 grams of carbohydrate, and 3.3 grams of fibre.

Broccoli demonstrates remarkable anticancer effects, particularly in breast cancer. Compounds know as glucosinolates, specifically indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, increase the excretion of the form of oestrogen linked to breast cancer. Indole-3-carbinol also increases the ability of the liver to detoxify toxic compounds as well as decreases the growth of human papillomavirus (a virus linked to cervical cancer; and hence the widely encouraged Gardicil vaccination for young women). Broccoli is also a rich source of lutein, which has also demonstrated anticancer effects. It may also be helpful in warding against the development of age-related macular degeneration, as this carotenoid is concentrated in the retina, where it acts to protect it from damage.

Preliminary studies suggest that, in order to cut the risk of chancery half, the average person would need to eat about two pounds of broccoli or similar vegetables per week.

INGREDIENTS (yields 5):

  •  1 small-medium sized bundle of broccoli (~225 grams / 3 cups chopped)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose/wholemeal flour
  • 1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt (or more), to taste
  • A pinch of red chilli flakes or ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Greek yoghurt and dash of lemon juice to serve (optional)

METHOD:

1) Prepare your broccoli. Wash and separate the florets from the biggest stem(s). Chop florets into 1-inch chunks. Steam florets until tender but not mushy. (NB: lazy method is to just simply boil them).

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Broccoli Fritters (1 of 1)-2

2) Mash the steamed broccoli with a potato masher keeping the bits recognisable.

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2) Whisk the egg into a large bowl. Add the flour, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix together.

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3) Add in mashed broccoli into mixture. Fold with spatula until everything is combined. Adjust seasonings to taste.

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4) Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in ~2 tablespoon of oil. Once oil heats up add a large spoonful of the batter and flatten with back of spatula or spoon. Pan-fry until golden on both sides (~2 minutes each side). You can cook multiple fritters at the same time, just make sure they don’t touch one another. Once cooked, transfer each fritter to a paper towel to drain.

Broccoli Fritters (5 of 13)

5) Serve fritters plain or with lemon juice. You can also serve with some greek yoghurt mixed with some lemon juice (I swirled in some additional pesto into my yoghurt).

Broccoli Fritters (1 of 1)

Eggplant Parmesan Bake

Eggplant Parmesan Bake (2 of 24) When it comes to naming the top Italian comfort foods, the first thing that springs into my mind – aside from lasagne – is the eggplant parmesan. Substituting the lasagne sheets with eggplant slices, you can’t go wrong creating this layered casserole if you are looking to host a dinner party for friends or family. One thing to keep in mind when selecting eggplants is to choose firm, smooth eggplants. Also, do bear in mind that eggplants absorb oil like a sponge. So if you’re not careful, you could end up with something very mushy and oily. Simply follow the below simple recipe to create a wonderful cheesy and tomato-ey eggplant parmesan bake that doesn’t weigh you down with too much water or oil.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3 as a side dish):

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g tin)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, torn
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil and more for brushing eggplant slices
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Eggplant Parmesan Bake (24 of 24)

METHOD:

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. 2) Heat a saucepan on medium heat. Add in diced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Gently cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the can of tomatoes and increase heat to bring to a simmer. Then lower heat to maintain a very low simmer for 15 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon of tomato puree and season with salt and pepper, adjusting taste as desired. Eggplant Parmesan Bake (19 of 24) 3) In the meantime, as the tomato sauce is simmering, slice the eggplants into 5mm slices lengthwise to fit the casserole dish. Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil. Eggplant Parmesan Bake (21 of 24) 4) Heat a griddle pan on medium heat and layer the eggplant slices. Cook for approximately 5-6 minutes, flipping it over halfway until eggplant is cooked. Eggplant Parmesan Bake (15 of 24) 5) Now for the fun part! Layer eggplant slices into the casserole dish and spread the tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle some salt and pepper then layer the torn basil leaves and mozzarella and grated parmesan on top. Repeat the alternating process until all the eggplant is used up and you create some beautiful artistic layers. Eggplant Parmesan Bake (14 of 24) Eggplant Parmesan Bake (13 of 24)Eggplant Parmesan Bake (11 of 24) Eggplant Parmesan Bake (10 of 24) 6) Once the layering process has been completed, top with the remaining tomato sauce and the remaining cheese. Simply shove the oven proof dish into the oven and bake uncovered for ~20 minutes. Take out of the oven and decorate with the remaining basil leaves on the surface. Wait patiently for 10 minutes before cutting into to serve. Eggplant Parmesan Bake (4 of 24) Eggplant Parmesan Bake (3 of 24)

Lazy Lamb Ragout Wholewheat Penne

Lazy Lamb Ragout Penne (14 of 15) Haven’t cooked for some time so I have been naturally aching to scratch that creative “itch”. Last week, I so happened to catch up with a good friend of mine who also happens to be a culinary aficionado. Admittedly, he is way more refined than me when it comes to the palate; at least he has experienced firsthand what it is like to work in a 3-star michelin restaurant. “Priceless experience”, he would say. He was kind enough to share with me two ‘secret’ recipes (well, not so much of a secret any longer after I publish it on KitchenMess) that will take no longer than 30 minutes to prepare and cook. One is the lazy man’s guide to a tasty ragout which I am about to share with you right now. INGREDIENTS (serves one):

  • 1 sausage (I used lamb, hence the name “lazy lamb ragout”)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes in sauce (~411g tin)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of worcester sauce
  • 1 chopped small onion/shallot
  • 1 bunch of torn basil leaves
  • 1 cup wholewheat penne uncooked
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan (optional)

METHOD:

1) Heat saucepan, add a knob of olive oil and then throw in the diced shallots.  After 1-2 minutes, open the can of diced tomatoes and pour all the contents in. Low boil for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Add 1 teaspoon of worcester sauce and a squirt of tomato paste (~ 1 tablespoon). Season with salt and pepper. Stir until dissolved. Lazy Lamb Ragout Penne (3 of 15) 2) While tomato sauce is brewing, de-skin the sausage. Simply use a small knife to peel off all the skin.

Lazy Lamb Ragout Penne (5 of 15)

3) Mash the sausage content with a fork and sprinkle with some black pepper. Lazy Lamb Ragout Penne (6 of 15) 4) Now to cook the pasta. Boil pot of water, add some salt and throw in one cup of dry penne pasta (I used wholewheat here to boost my overall fiber content for the day). Cook according to package instructions (roughly 10-11 minutes for al dente).

5) In the meantime, add the minced lamb mixture into the saucepan with the tomato sauce and with the aid of the fork and slotted spoon, quickly break apart the meat inside the sauce so that it more or less resembles a ragout. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until done.

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6) By now the pasta should be ready. Drain the pasta in a colander and pour cooked pasta into a serving bowl. Pour the tomato lamb ragout sauce mixture on top of the pasta.

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Lazy Lamb Ragout Penne (11 of 15)

7)  Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese if desired. And there you go, a 30 minute hearty ragout. Serve and enjoy.Lazy Lamb Ragout Penne (15 of 15)