Friday, October 14, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Pancakes

Fritters, latkes, pancakes, call them what you will, they have endless potential and make a unique alternative for an appetizer, side dish, snack, lunch, or just about any time!  I was on a real kick with zucchini fritters a few years ago when my son absolutely loved them (now won’t touch them).  A recent recipe I used was Mario Batali’s Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters.  He uses fresh sheep-milk ricotta but I used my own homemade cows-milk ricotta and they were fantastic!  But now that zucchini season is past, I charge into fall looking for new frontiers in fritters!  We have been getting spaghetti squash in our farm share and while I like it, I seem to always treat it like pasta or make fritatas with it, and I’m bored with that.  I took a look at a recipe for Gingered Carrot Latkes from Epicurious and came up with Spaghetti Squash pancakes.  I call them pancakes because the consistency of the batter because of the difference in texture of a carrot versus roasted spaghetti squash is quite different.  The squash releases a little bit more moisture and the batter is like wet pancake batter.  With the addition of potato starch, these get a nice lift and are light and airy, with a slightly buttery taste.  They also have a little kick to them, so serving them with a Greek yogurt sauce or sour cream is advised.  These really taste good!  I have many times just looked at a recipe and switched out the ingredients to utilize what ingredients that I have to work with, try it, it’s fun and they are so easy to make!  They freeze well too!
Spaghetti Squash Pancakes
adapted from Gingered Carrot Latkes, Gourmet, December 2004
Makes about 18
1 medium sized spaghetti squash , cut length-wise in half, inside cleaned
1 chile pepper in adobo sauce (finely chopped)
1 t garlic chili sauce
1 t fresh thyme
½ cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1T stone ground mustard
6 T all-purpose flour
3 t potato starch
1 1/2t salt
¾ t baking powder
½ t ground black pepper
2t garam masala
1t paprika
3 t finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3 t finely grated peeled fresh turmeric (optional)
2 eggs, beaten to blend

1.   Preheat oven to 350.  Place the squash halves ,cut side down, in a baking dish with a water bath just covering the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 35 minutes.   Cool slightly and scoop out the inside flesh into a large bowl.  Press the squash with paper towels to absorb any moisture. 
2.  In another large bowl, whisk flour through paprika to blend.  Mix in squash, chile pepper, chili sauce, thyme, and cheese, then eggs.

3.  Lightly butter or oil a griddle or heavy large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Working batches and adding more oil/butter as needed, drop the squash mixture by scant ¼ cupfuls into the skillet or griddle.  Fry until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Check after a few minutes and adjust heat accordingly.  You may adjust amount of batter used to accommodate desired size.  Transfer pancakes to rimmed baking sheet.  (Can be made 6 hours ahead.  Let stand at room temperature.  Rewarm in 350 degree oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.)  These do freeze well, just make sure to place wax or parchment paper between them.
Serve pancakes with sour cream and fresh thyme or the relish and salsa in the Epicurious recipe would also work well if you have the time to prepare them.

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