The in-laws were coming to Sunday dinner and to watch the Mad Men Premiere. I suspect my father-in-law would eat anything I put in front of him, however, Ma-in-Law is not the veggie lover. I did let them know I’d be testing out some recipes on them and my Ma-in-Law said that was great, as long as I was alright with the fact she might not eat anything. This ratchets up the stress level a wee bit.
It was a complete gamble and I was in the gambling kind of mood. Due to a variety of distractions over the week I had a surplus of my CSA goodies and needed to use as many as possible in one dinner. It’s still technically winter in terms of what we are receiving. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention how excited I am for spring and summer veggies to hit my basket. I’ve come to learn and love all things winter veggies but a part of me has a much better understanding for what it must have been like living off the land like the days of our ancestors. How tired they must have been of eating the same items over and over, with no taco shops to break the monotony.
I decided to tackle the chard. If I can get Ma-in-Law to eat chard, it will be a huge victory. I’ve made it many different ways (see Winter Greens series) however tonight by necessity was going to be different. We had breakfast at this wonderful new diner we have recently discovered and on the menu were corn fritters. My Granny used to make them every time she would visit us when I was a child. Why not substitute chard for corn? A quick look online tells me it’s never been done which means one of two things- 1. I’m going to create something brilliant or 2. It’s so unbearable no one would dare eat it, let alone Ma-in-Law.
So I went about it in a corn fritter meets zucchini pancake sort of way. More eggs than flour, but let the vegetable speak for themselves. It was likely my biggest culinary gamble yet. But, over the years I’ve found you can get people to eat all sorts of strange things if they are fried (at least that’s how I was duped into eating Rattlesnake one time in Arizona). Let’s hope Ma-in-Law approves.
First taste, it was good but needed a sauce of some sort. Ma-in-Law likes mayo, I decide to make a spicy aioli.
Final result at the dinner table- Outstanding success! Ma-in-Law asks for seconds on the fritters and mentions how I could make them smaller as an appetizer for parties. Everyone agrees its fabulous.
Clearly my devious plan to trick the world into eating more veggies is starting to take hold. Watch out other veggie-loathing kin-folk I’m coming for you next….
Chard Fritters with Spicy Aioli
1 bunch chard, stems removed and saved, leaves chopped
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Remove stems from chard and set aside for tomorrow’s recipe. Coarsely chop leaves and place in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 eggs which have been beaten and Dijon mustard mix together. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and then sprinkle and mix into the chard mixture. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. The “batter” will look mainly like greens that are a bit wet with egg. This is not a heavy batter fritter.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees so you can keep your fritters warm. In a large frying pan over medium to medium high heat pour vegetable oil to coat the pan. Add about 1/4 cup of batter at a time frying 4-6 fritters at once.
Fry each fritter until brown and crispy and set in oven to keep warm. I dabbed off any excess oil.
Mix together equal parts mayo and Majestic Garlic Cayenne (see Majestic Garlic for link to purchase). Serve on top of fritters.