Courgette Fritters with Home Made Kumato Ketchup
Portion/Yield:Serves 6 as a starter (Ketchup makes about 500ml)
You have heard me speaking about a glut before but you have not seen anything yet! I think the courgette monster is about to suffocate me and take over my entire garden! Then there are the tomato plants too…they are everywhere and to top it all off Mr.P came home with a box of kumato’s last week. I nearly lost the plot as there is only so much that my poor freezer can cope with, every glass jar I can place my hands on is full of something. We could seriously run a restaurant from our home and would not even know how much food passes by my kitchen door.
All jokes aside I think I’m the expert on courgettes. We have been eating courgettes every day for the past three weeks and there is more to come. First when the slugs killed one of my 7 courgette plants I was devastated and could not forgive the slugs for being so mean to me, now I realise it did me a favour. The courgettes grow incredibly fast and I have “El Wappos” nearly every other day. We have had courgettes in stir-fries, soups, salads, on pizzas, in sandwiches, bread, cakes, pickled, pasta dishes…I think I could write a book on “365 ways on what to do with a courgette!” But I do not think the nation would appreciate that!?
The kumato’s came all the way from Holland and they are cultivated. They are branded as the black tomato and they are quite impressive. I used half the box to make a big batch of napolitana sauce which I packed in 400g bags and placed them in the freezer, this will make a lovely base for soups and pasta dishes for the weeks to come. The rest I turned into my own home made ketchup and it’s delicious! You can do the same with any tomato, it does not necessarily have to be a black tomato. I know you can pick a box of tomatoes up at the market for a couple of pounds and it’s a super bargain. All you must do is turn it into a few items that you would have bought from the supermarket such as ketchup and pasta sauces. You can even blanch and peel the tomatoes and then place them in tubs in the freezer and you have “tinned tomatoes”. This is far more inexpensive than the bought versions in tins that probably come from foreign countries. You must think by now I’m a hypocrite talking about British produce but then using Dutch black tomatoes, but there is a very good reason for that. I do not like to waste food and when Mr.P came home with these, which were a gift, I could not turn them away, so hopefully you understand.
Ingredients & Method
For the Kumato Ketchup
- 1 large white onions, peeled and chopped
- 800g kumatos (or any ripe tomato)
- 2 tsp salt
- 50g light brown sugar
- 1tbs tamarind pulp
- 1/2 tsp Coleman's English Mustard Powder
- 100ml malt vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- Freshly grated nutmeg, a pinch worth
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4tsp black onion seeds
For the courgette frittters
- 60g Organic spelt flour + 1 extra tablespoon
- 70ml Ale + extra if the batter becomes too thick
- 1 large free range egg
- 1tsp baking powder
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 small courgettes
First prepare the ketchup. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in 1/4’s, peel and chop the onion and crush the garlic. Heat a large saucepan that you have with the oil and fry the onions, garlic, black onion seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves until the onions turn transparent, add some seasoning at this stage. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, tamarind pulp, mustard powder, cayenne pepper nutmeg and the rest of the salt and pepper. Stir and bring the tomatoes to the boil, cook for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 1 hour. Stir regularly and be careful that it does not catch at the bottom.
Use a food mill to pass the ketchup through, do not be tempted to use a blender as this will puree and aerate the ketchup, you will end up with a unpleasant pale yellowy orange colour. The food mill will help remove any remaining skins. Throw the residue away and return the pulp to a clean saucepan. Bring the ketchup back to a gentle simmer, reduce until required thickness is achieved.
For the courgette fritters. Measure the flour, baking powder and seasoning into a mixing bowl, beat the egg lightly with a fork and mix into the flour to form a paste. Slowly add the ale to form a batter. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes before using. If the batter becomes a bit thicker than expected add a splash of ale to let the batter down to the required coating consistency.
Wash the courgettes and slice then 5mm thick on a angle.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan with 1 cm layer of sunflower oil to shallow fry the fritters over medium heat rather than too hot. Line a tray with kitchen paper to drain the fritters once cooked. Season courgettes and let the courgettes sit for a couple of minutes. Season the extra plain flour with more salt and pepper, dip the courgettes in the flour and dust off the excess flour then dip the courgettes in the batter. Shallow fry the fritters in the warm oil until golden and crisp on both sides, drain them on the kitchen paper.
Serve them with the home made kumato ketchup and course sea salt.