Cheese and Herb Fritters with Sweet Pepper Marmalade

If you want to serve a meal without meat or fish, this is just the thing. It's also a great recipe for using up odd bits of cheese, which can be varied as long as the total amount ends up being about 12 oz (350 g) for four people or 6 oz (175 g) for two. The Sweet Pepper Marmalade is an amazingly good accompaniment and keeps well, so can be made in advance.

Serves 4

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two.

Cheese and Herb Fritters with Sweet Pepper Marmalade
 4 oz (110 g) Feta, finely grated
 4 oz (110 g) Gruyère, finely grated
 4 oz (110 g) mature Cheddar, finely grated
 3 heaped tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (basil, thyme, oregano and parsley, for example)
 2 oz (50 g) plain flour, plus 1 slightly rounded dessertspoon seasoned flour
 2 good pinches cayenne pepper
 2 large eggs
 2 tablespoons milk
 3 tablespoons olive oil
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the sweet pepper marmalade:
 2 large red peppers, deseeded, thinly sliced into lengths, then cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
 2 level tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
 8 fl oz (225 ml) medium cider
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a frying pan with a diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm).


Begin this by sifting the 2 oz (50 g) of flour and cayenne pepper into a large bowl and season with salt and black pepper, then make a well in the centre and break the eggs into it. Now gradually whisk in the eggs, incorporating any bits of flour from the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter, then gently stir in the grated cheeses and herbs.

Now cover the bowl and leave it to stand in a cool place for about an hour, as this allows all the flavours to develop.

While that's happening you can make the sweet pepper marmalade.

First heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and, when it's hot, add the onion and peppers. Cook them, tossing them around from time to time, until golden and tinged brown – about 10 minutes – then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Now add the sugar, cider vinegar and cider, stir and bring everything back up to simmering point.

Then season with salt and freshly milled black pepper, turn the heat down to its lowest setting and simmer gently, uncovered, for 1¼ hours, or until the liquid has almost evaporated and you have a thick, marmalade consistency.

When you're ready to cook the fritters, take 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time and make 12 rounds, flatten them gently to about 2½ inches (6 cm) in diameter, then lightly dust each one with the seasoned flour.

Next, heat the oil over a highish heat in the frying pan and, when it's shimmering hot, cook half the fritters over a medium heat for 45-60 seconds each side, or until golden brown and crispy.

Then carefully lift them out of the pan to drain on crumpled silicone paper (baking parchment).

Keep the first batch warm while you cook the second, then serve with the sweet pepper marmalade. 

A green salad would make a good accompaniment.

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