I used to think zucchini fritters was the only recipe that we fry the little pancake versions of shredded vegetable and enjoy with a dollop of garlicky yogurt sauce on top. Then I saw this recipe in Tugrul Savkay’s book on regional Turkish dishes and decided to try it. Actually the rice in the recipe intrigued me because I always make too much rice pilaf and it ends up in the fridge for several days if not a week.
It is a good way of using your leftover rice and any dark green vegetable. Instead of making small patties and frying them, I just poured the whole batter into a heated cast iron skillet, cooked on both sides. Because who has the patience to stand by the stove to finish all that batter in the smallest batches! Next time, I will cook the bottom and stick it into the oven to cook like frittata so I am not clumsily trying to flip a heavy cast iron skillet on a platter just to turn the batter upside down.
This winter break has been nice because it allowed me to catch up on my reading and also cooking. I am at the end of my winter break and the classes start full steam on Monday. This year will be interesting. In March, I will be heading off to Salamanca, Spain for 3.5 months of language immersion program as a part of the my masters. I am looking forward to it although I am not sure how I will pack for two different seasons for those months in only one luggage! I am sure I will be switching from Turkish recipes to Spanish sightseeing. Then the internship comes afterwards and who knows where that will take me.
Here is to simply living, and many adventures and lessons the year will bring…
Green Chard Fritter
- 100 gr uncooked rice
- 200 ml water
- About 1.5 – 2 lbs fresh green chard (or about 2 cups of cooked, chopped, drained)
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 5 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of dried mint
- Salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper) to taste
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil
1. Put water and rice into a pot and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to medium, continue cooking until rice is cooked all the way through. Add more water if needed. Drain, set aside to cool.
2. Wash chard, discard the tough stems. Bring several cups of water to boil in a big pan. Plunge the chard into boiling water for about three minutes and remove. Drain, chop all. Give the chard a good squeeze to get rid of excess water.
3. Mix cooked rice, chard, eggs, flour, mint, salt and peppers.
4. Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet or any heavy bottom skillet, coat the bottom and sides with the oil.
5. Pour the chard mixture in the skillet, spread evenly with the help of a spatula.
6. Cook on medium high until the bottom is browned and a crust is developed about 15 minutes or so. Flip it on its other side with the help of a platter. Cook all the way through, for another 15 minutes.
7. Check for doneness and remove to a platter. Serve with plain or garlicky yogurt.