At the restaurant we aways had some sort of fish cake on the menu and they were always best sellers. One of the most memorable ones for me were the Creole Crab Cakes that we served with a roasted red pepper mayo. There was something about the combination of Creole seasoning, fresh thyme and finely diced peppers that everyone loved.
Everyone except for Nik the Chef. He hated making them. They were a bit (ok a lot) of a nightmare because the peppers would leak their liquid into the crab cakes and make them soggy so Nik had to spend hours finely dicing peppers and then meticulously drying them out on kitchen towel before combining them with the crab meat. He hated me for coming up with those crab cakes, but the customers loved them.
I was reminded of those crab cakes when I saw a recipe for chickpea fritters on A Little Bit Crunchy. Hers were Mexican in flavour but they had diced red pepper in them which is what caught my eye. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, after all I never ate a whole crab cake because I was vegetarian. I only ever tried a little bit to see if it tasted how I wanted it to.
So I made some Creole seasoning which I added to a jar of cooked chickpeas that I had blended to a puree. I added some fresh thyme and started to finely dice a red and green pepper, a spring onion, garlic & chilli. I stirred a few handfuls of the diced veg into the chickpea mix, but not too much, I didn’t want the mixture to be too wet. I used the rest of the diced peppers etc to make a salsa to accompany the chickpea fritters by adding a chopped tomato, lemon juice & some Creole seasoning. I used chickpea flour to dust the fritters and then mould them into patties to keep it gluten-free but you can use flour and breadcrumbs if you like.
Creole Chickpea Fritters with Red & Green Pepper Salsa
makes 6-8 patties, vegan, gluten-free
For the Creole seasoning:
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
Put all the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well to combine.
For the Chickpea Fritters:
- 1 jar/tin 400 gr cooked chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 2 tbsp Creole seasoning (see above)
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 green pepper, finely diced
- 3 or 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 spring garlic or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 chilli, finely chopped
- the juice of half a lemon
- 1 big tomato, finely diced
- chickpea flour/besan/gram flour for dusting
- olive oil for frying
Put the rinsed, drained chickpeas in a bowl or processor and blend until smoothish. Mix the diced peppers, spring onions, garlic and chilli together in a bowl and add a couple of small handfuls to the chickpeas with a tablespoon of Creole seasoning and the thyme leaves. Stir everything together so well combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Tip some chickpea flour onto a plate and shape the mix into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Then dust the patties in the flour and put in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes. (No longer or the peppers will start to leak their juice and the patties will be too wet).
Meanwhile make the salsa by adding a finely diced tomato to the rest of the diced veg with a tablespoon of Creole seasoning and the juice of half a lemon. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
To cook the fritters, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the fritters for 4-5 minutes per side until browned and crispy. Serve with the pepper salsa and a green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
Things That Made Me Smile Today…
A Shetland pony and her new foal…
A white dolomite rock and delicate magenta flowers…..