I just gobbled down a ribbon of smoked trout like a penguin ingesting a sardine whole, then clapping its flippers in appreciative applause. That doesn’t really have anything to do with this blog post but that was a confession I felt I had to make. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
Today I deliberately set out to challenge my loan Airfryer. I felt I had to do something vegetarian, but I don’t believe I’ve ever consumed fried vegetables unless they’re tempura (in which case deep-frying is sort of mandatory), so I settled on chickpea patties.
I’ve made chickpea patties before but I’ve never really been happy with the outcome. Apart from my first attempt which was a total success:
I am good, aren’t I?
I wasn’t going to be completely happy with some healthy, vegan lumps so I decided to top today’s patties with a yoghurt-based sauce (I wanted to use creme fraiche but my local Woolies was all out) and smoked trout ribbons, on a bed on baby lettuce leaves dressed in lemon olive oil and Parmesan, served with grilled prawns.
Let’s start win the patties. I broke out my food processor and whizzed up one shallot, half a green-pepper, and a jalapeño from my garden:
I then drained a can of organic chickpeas and tossed in the contents:
(How gross does the brine the chickpeas were preserved in look?)
I blitzed the whole lot then started rooting around on my cupboards for some semolina to act ad a thickening agent and add texture, when I found this:
I had completely forgotten that I had for some chickpea flour intending to make bhajias. I tossed a load of the flour in and blitzed it again. Chickpea flour has a rather strong flavour so I then added some semolina and regular flour to thicken the mixture. I also added salt, black pepper, garlic, dhania jeera, crushed chillies, dried tarragon and whole coriander seeds:
Once I had mixed up the whole lot I made up the patties. It helps to moisten your hands with some olive oil prior to forming the patties, as this stops the mix from sticking to your hands. I tossed the patties into the Airfryer and baked at 180° for 10 minutes on either side. Remember that you need to bake the insides of the patties as well as the outsides:
While the prawns were cooking, I deveined and cleaned the prawns that I had found in my freezer. I must confess that I started singing “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid out of sheer delight at finding the prawns in the “treasure trove” of my freezer. In hindsight, singing a tune from The Little Mermaid while slicing prawns open, ripping out their guts and hacking off their heads was a touch macabre. Perhaps I should have sung “Les poissons” instead.
Digression. I used a simple marinade of olive oil, Tabasco, a splash of lime juice and black pepper:
I’m going to go a bit faster cos I’m really sleepy right now. I took the cooked chickpea patties out, and while they didn’t look particularly appetizing they tasted AMAZING :
They kind of look like cookies, don’t they?
I then slid the prawns into the Airfryer at 200* for 4 minutes before serving:
So, how did it all work out? While the patties were delicious they were dry, and so I feel would benefit from frying in actual oil.
Conversely, prawns were made for Aifrying…or is that the other way round? It was quick, easy, effective, and I can’t imagine any other cooking method would work as well.
And with that I must bid you my adieus; join me tomorrow for the final Airfryer test!