Recipe: Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup & Feta - Jen Miller

As featured in Forbes, Fast Company, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Greatist, Life Hacker and Dr Axe, Jen Miller of JenReviews.com has the authority on all things Food, Fitness and Home. Here she shares with us one of her favourite appetizer recipes for family gatherings, Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup & Feta.

Growing up sweet potatoes were relegated to the Thanksgiving table, and often confused with the yam. Since then I’ve found a fondness for sweet potato as long as it was exclusively used in savory applications, no honey or brown sugar, please! That is until I found a way to pair them with spices that only plays with the idea of sweetness.

IMG_6497.jpg

Playing with food is fun, and one of the greatest of ways is to turn that food into a crispy fritter. The flavors used marry together while the hot oil infuses them into the chosen main ingredient; grated sweet potato in this case.  Most would go with herbs or just a simple salt and pepper seasoning, but because I wanted that idea of sweet without the sugar I used cinnamon and nutmeg for sweet warm flavors, and coriander seed and cumin for fresh earthiness. The combination of which becomes something that creates a craving for one more bite and a pomegranate fruit seemed like an ideal pairing to these tastes. Turned to a thick sweet syrup, the pomegranate turns this nearly into a dessert, begging to have a sweet whipped cream or honeyed yogurt to go with it. A crumble of salty feta, on the other hand, brings the dish back to an appetizer or luxurious snack.  But really, it could easily go the other way if one was so inclined! These sweet potato fritters are so versatile it’s hard to choose how to present them most deliciously!

Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup and Feta

Course Appetizer

Cuisine American

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Servings 4

Ingredients

Fritters

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes

  • ½ onion

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 2 eggs

  • Light oil

  • Crumbled feta cheese

Syrup

  1. 1 pomegranate

  2. 2 tablespoons sugar

  3. 1 cinnamon back

  4. 1 cup water

  5. 1 tablespoon cornstarch

    Notes: These fritters can be made ahead of time and frozen for a couple of months. Follow all of the steps up until serving, and instead freeze them. Pop them back into hot oil to fry after thawing when ready to use.

STEP ONE – PREPARE THE FRITTER INGREDIENTS

IMG_6498.jpeg

Run cold water over the sweet potato to clean off any dirt or debris before peeling all of the outside skin and rinse again.  Remove the peels from the onion and garlic cloves and cut off the root ends. Slice the onion thinly and then chop the slices into ½ -1 inch long pieces. Mince the garlic cloves and set them aside.

STEP TWO – GRATE THE SWEET POTATOES

Grate the sweet potatoes on the large hole of a grater.

IMG_6499.jpeg

STEP THREE – MIX THE FRITTERS

Place the sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and flour into a bowl along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander seed, cumin, and salt. Crack the eggs into the bowl. Stir it together until it comes to a thick mixture and everything is evenly distributed throughout.

STEP FOUR – HEAT THE OIL

IMG_6503.jpeg

Pour light cooking oil into a deep pan to about 1 to 1 ½ inches deep. Place the pan on a burner over medium-high heat and wait for the oil to reach about 350F, checking with a cooking thermometer. Alternatively, use a deep fryer, which has a temperature gage built in. If a thermometer isn’t available, drop a ½ inch cube of bread into the oil and if it turns golden brown in 30 seconds, it is hot enough.

STEP FIVE – FRY THE FRITTERS

IMG_6504.jpeg

Scoop up a spoonful of the sweet potato mixture and transfer it back and forth between two spoons to form a loose, but sticky, ball. Drop the sweet potato ball into the hot oil and let it cook through; about 3 minutes on one side, turn and 2-3 on the other.

STEP SIX – DRAIN FRITTERS AND SEASON WITH SALT

IMG_6507.jpeg

Transfer the finished fritter to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with the rest of the fritters, cooking them in batches of 4-5 at a time. When the fritters are all cooked, sprinkle them with coarse salt and allow them to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

STEP SEVEN – REMOVE SEEDS FROM FRUIT

IMG_6509.jpeg

Cut the pomegranate in half with a chef’s knife. Remove the seeds from one half of the pomegranate and put them in a bowl as you work. Transfer the seeds to a small saucepan and add in the sugar, cinnamon stick, and water.

STEP EIGHT – COOK THE POMEGRANATE SYRUP

Put the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring it just to a boil. Turn the temperature down to medium-low and let it simmer about 10-15 minutes. It’s ready when the liquid has reduced by about half and the juices from the seeds have seeped out into the pan. Turn off the heat.

IMG_6510.jpeg
IMG_6511.jpeg

STEP NINE – STRAIN THE SYRUP

IMG_6513.jpeg
IMG_6512.jpeg

Pull the cinnamon stick out of the pan and discard it. Stir the cornstarch into the mixture and let it thicken. Strain the syrup through a mesh sieve and toss out the seeds.

STEP TEN – DRIZZLE FRITTERS WITH SYRUP AND FETA

IMG_6514.jpeg

Serve the sweet potato fritters with the pomegranate syrup drizzled over them, a crumble of feta, and additional pomegranate seeds from the other half of the pomegranate on top. As I mentioned above, these fritters can easily be turned into dessert if the feta is left out and either a creamy honey goat cheese is substituted or whipped cream!

For more information about Jennifer Miller please visit www.jenreviews.com

Recipe: Charred courgette & salmon with herb sauce

As the spring approaches we’re looking to ditch the stews and pies in favour of lighter, healthier dishes. Lets be honest the thought of bearing our carb loaded winter bodies right now is quite a scary prospect and so we’ve enlisted the help (basically begged!) of FYOUFODMAP’s Nikki Griffith who’s shared some of her bloat beating recipes.

IMG_4630.jpeg

Charred Courgette & Salmon with her sauce.

Courgettes can be a bit bland, so the cooking of them is mega important here. Don’t get impatient, you need to wait for the char. It’ll add depth and smokiness and will give you the perfect backdrop for the more punchy salmon.

IMG_4631.jpeg

Guidance from Monash University says that up to 100g of courgette is low in FODMAPs. Anything higher and you’ll come up against high amounts of fructans. That means you can pretty much eat one courgette per person (by the time you’ve lost the end bits and a few scraps). The restrictions on size definitely put this into the ‘light’ dinner category so if you’re hungry, maybe add a potato salad on the side.

  • 400g courgettes

  • 4 large, skinless and boneless salmon fillets

  • 1 red chilli, sliced

IMG_4632.jpeg

For the dressing:

  • 20g basil (including stalks)

  • 8g parsley leaves

  • 10g spring onion greens

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 15ml garlic-infused olive oil

  • Half a teaspoon of salt

Serves 4 for a light lunch or dinner

  1. Slice your courgettes lengthways (I use a mandolin for this on the second-to-thinnest setting). Heat some oil in a large griddle pan and cook your courgettes in a single layer until you see visible dark char lines, then flip them and repeat on the other side. You’ll need to do this in several batches but I promise, the time investment is worth it. If you put them all in at once then you run the risk of a mushy mess and none of the char flavour. Once all your courgettes are done, pop them in your oven to keep warm on the lowest heat setting.

  2. In a frying pan, heat some oil and then add your salmon fillets (the oil should hiss as you add them if hot enough). Cook them for 3 to 4 minutes on each side depending on how you like them to be done. I like mine still a bit blush in the middle so I do 3 minutes each side.

  3. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor*.

  4. Once your salmon is ready, remove it from the pan and flake it into large chunks. Then carefully combine everything in a large bowl, making sure not to break the salmon up too much, and serve with some sliced red chilli on top.

*If you don’t have a food processor, try finely (and I mean finely) chopping your herbs, mixing all the sauce ingredients together and pressing with a pestle. It won’t be quite the same but it’ll still be fresh and zingy. 

As mentioned, if you’re following a low FODMAP diet then you’ll need to stick to these amounts. If you’re not, you can add extra courgette for a more substantial serving.

WHAT IS THE LOW FODMAP DIET?

It’s a diet that’s been specially developed by the clever researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, to help relieve people suffering with IBS, which affects 1 in 7 people, from the associated symptoms.

The word FODMAP is an acronym, standing for:

  • Fermentable (basically that refers to foods that are broken down by gut bacteria and then produce gases in your belly)

  • Oligosaccharides (in particular: wheat, onions and garlic)

  • Disaccharides (that’s lactose to you and I)

  • Monosaccharides (a.k.a. fructose – found in honey, high-fructose corn syrups and fruits like apples)

  • And

  • Polyols (Sorbitol & Mannitol – these are found in some fruits and vegetables)

You can find a full list of foods you can and can’t eat on the Monash FODMAP app.

IMG_4636.jpeg

The idea of the low FODMAP diet is to cut from your diet foods high in FODMAPs, for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. For some people with a gut-imbalance such as SIBO, they may be able to go back to eating as normal. Others will gradually re-introduce foods back into their diet, helping them to identify which are causing nasty symptoms.

For more about Nikki or to read more of her recipes please visit www.fyoufodmap.com or follow her on instagram at @fyoufodmap