Brussels sprout fritters

Fritters are a tricky business, in my experience. They aren't burgers, so the ingredients won't form a patty necessarily. You also don't want to use so much flour or binder that you end up with a hush puppy or a funnel cake-like batter with just a hint of veggies. But, if they fall apart, you go from fritter to hash, which is a different animal. The trick seems to be using just enough egg, flour, or cheese (or, as in this case, all three) to get the veggies to stick together without masking the produce that should stand out.

Brussels sprouts are my favorite and in season now, so I want M to love them as much as I do. He'll eat them roasted when they're right out of the oven (who wouldn't eat something crispy and salty fresh out of the oven?), but he won't eat them as leftovers. I tried fritterizing them instead and have had more luck. I also added some bacon because, bacon.

 The mixture looks a little dry, but with heat and patience, it'll stick together.

The mixture looks a little dry, but with heat and patience, it'll stick together.

A couple of notes: These guys are still a smidge delicate. Two keys for my fritter success have been making sure that the oil is hot before starting the cooking and letting the first side get a good seer before flipping. I also have to manage my expectations that they'll stick together entirely. And lastly, the smaller the fritter, the more likely you'll flip without breaking. BUT, if this all seems like too much, just throw half or all of the mixture (depending on the size of your pan) into an oven-safe pan and make one or two giant fritters, cooking them like a frittata.

Brussels sprout fritters

12 oz brussels sprouts, shredded
8 oz purple cabbage, shredded
5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
4 eggs, lightly whisked
½ cup + 2 Tbsp garbanzo flour*
½ cup + 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
2 large cloves garlic, minced
S/P
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided (more, if needed)

*I used garbanzo flour because I had it and it has more protein, iron, and fiber than white flour and is gluten-free. But swap in whatever flour you have on hand.

Heat a large pan over a medium flame and add the bacon when hot. In the meantime, shred the brussels sprouts and cabbage with your food processor or by hand, pausing a few times to check the bacon and flip it over. (Or, if you’re smarter than me, and you bought your veggies pre-shredded, dump them in a large bowl and gather your other ingredients.) When the bacon is crisped, let it cool on a paper towel for a few minutes and crumble it into the veggies.  Pour off the bacon grease and wipe down the pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Dump them onto the veggies and stir to combine. In that same small bowl that’s now empty, add the eggs and lightly whisk with a fork to break up the yolks. Add to the veggie, flour, and cheese mixture, and stir again to combine, making sure that everything is well distributed.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over a medium flame until very hot. Test with a bit of the veggie mixture to see if it starts bubbling immediately. If yes, your pan is ready. Using a large spoon or your hands, add mounds of about 1/3 cup of the veggies into the oil (our large pan accommodated 4 fritters at a time). Fry for 5-6 minutes until there’s a good seer on one side. Carefully flip (I use a silicone spatula and a fork) and repeat on the other side. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.

Yield: 16-18 fritters