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I HATE CARROTS! There, I said it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat them if they’re served in front of me. I’ll eat them if they’re covered in dip. But in general, my kitchen a carrot-free zone…unless I sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and they send me box filled with carrots! They say too many cooks spoil the broth, well I say too many carrots spoil the fridge.
Now, I know there are those of you out there who actually enjoy chomping on raw carrots, and if you’re one of them then YOU GO GLEN COCO! I wish I liked carrots as much much as you. My eyesight, for one, would be like Superman’s (on the lookout for underpants) and my skin would look like I just spent a weekend fist pumping at the Jersey Shore.
And so, I brought out the ‘ol blueprints and started brainstorming. I wanted to create a recipe that disguised carrots without loosing their color or nutrients, and yet still follows the sweet, fried goodness of a Yakgwa Cookie.
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~*~ CARROT CAKE FRITTERS WITH MAPLE CREAM CHEESE DIP ~*~
Here’s a stripped down version of carrot cake with more carrots and less cream cheese frosting. These little guys are filled with all the classic fixin’s like raisins and walnuts, but you don’t have to stop their. Add shredded coconut, pineapple chunks, or even fresh ginger! You can have them as a sweet appetizer or top them on a salad as a full meal. Dunk them in apple sauce or this more decedent maple cream cheese dip.
5 – 6 carrots
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup rasins
2 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon group nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons oil
Cream Cheese Dip
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 whipped cream cheese, ideally room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons orange zest
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
optional: 1-2 tablespoons bourbon
Artist: Bruce Cockburn
Albums: Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws
MAKE THE DIP
1. Combine yogurt, cream cheese, maple syrup, orange zest, juice, and salt in a bowl until smooth.
2. Taste then add more maple, orange, or salt as needed.
3. Chill in the fridge until time to serve.
PREP THE INGREDEINTS
1. Peel and grate carrots using a box grater (for an arm work out), or food processor.
2. Roast the walnuts (optional flavor booster). Arrange the walnuts on a baking pan. Place in the oven and set to 350℉. Shake the pan every 5 minutes until walnuts darken and smell nutty. Taste to check they are soft and roasted through. Set aside.
MAKE THE BATTER
1. Mix carrots, eggs, flour, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Layer paper towels on a baking sheet and set aside.
FRY THE FRITTERS
1. Melt butter and oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
2. Working in batches, drop 1-2 tablespoons (1/4 cup for larger fritters) of batter into the pan. Flatten with the back of the tablespoon (or cup). Continue to add batter but don’t over-crowed.
TIP: Since the fritters are so small, I use 2 regular spoons to flip then and check that they’re browned evenly.
3. Fry the fritters on each side for 1-2 minutes until browned.
4. Drain on the paper towels.
1. Store leftover fritters in the fridge for 1 week or freeze for 3 months.
2. Reheat by placing fritters on a baking sheet and bake in a 400F oven until warmed through and crisp, about 10 minutes.
*~* YAKAGWA VARIATION ~*~
Replace walnuts with toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts. Swap out the raisins for shredded coconut. Add 1 teaspoon fresh or powdered ginger. Swap maple syrup with honey. Fry in lite sesame oil or coconut oil. For the sauce: replace maple syrup with honey, and orange zest/juice with lemon. Add more fresh or powdered ginger to taste. Optional flavor booster: add 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or sake.
*~* GLUTEN-FREE VARIATION ~*~
Sub flours with chickpea, coconut, or almond flour. Fry in coconut oil or ghee.