Haloumi and zucchini fritters

I have made these for several art show openings and they have become a staple. They are always enormously popular, along with Turkish meatballs, crab and pork balls, and, of course, baked ricotta cake. (All, you will notice, can be made well in advance.) I feel that the zucchini fritters do need the aoili, though.

300g (about 6 – 8) zucchini
1 onion, grated
250g haloumi cheese, grated
75g (½ cup) plain flour
2 teaspoons zested lemon rind
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Light olive oil, to fry
Aioli, to serve (see Sauces)

Coarsely grate the zucchinis, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place in a bowl and add the onion, haloumi cheese, flour, lemon zest, eggs and dill. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine. Shape the zucchini mixture into about 25 bite size patties. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until firm.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and fry, in batches, for 1 – 2 minutes each side until golden. Drain on a paper towel.

Just before serving, place the fritters on a baking tray and warm in a pre-heated moderate oven.

Serve with aioli to dip.

Makes about 25.

Cheese Biscuits #1

Cheese biscuits neverendingcookbook

I think a little cheese biscuit with a drink when ones’ guests arrive is a perfect way to begin any party. The Moreton Club has done these tiny biscuits for years and whilst I believe that the recipe is available I do not know anybody who actually has it.

I am enormously proud of this recipe because it is the result of a lot of hard work and much experimentation. I think my recipe is a little better than the Moreton Club’s. Lately it is my most requested recipe, which does say something!

This recipe has the added advantage of having equal quantities of butter, flour and cheese which makes it very easy to remember, and very easy to make in smaller or larger quantities.  When I began experimenting with these biscuits, the flour was all plain flour. Then it became plain flour with a little rice flour added, then plain flour with a little ground rice. Now I make them with equal quantities of plain flour and ground rice. This gives the biscuits a very satisfying crunch.

250g butter
250g imported Parmesan cheese, finely grated
125g plain flour
125g ground rice (or substitute rice flour)
Cayenne pepper

Sift together the plain flour, cayenne pepper and ground rice or rice flour. Cut butter into small cubes and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add sifted flour/s and cayenne and the finely grated Parmesan. Process until the mixture forms a ball around the shaft of the food processor. Remove biscuit dough from food processor and wrap in plastic film. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 120C.

Grease a baking sheet or baking tray with butter and, using hands, roll biscuit dough into balls approximately 1 cm in diameter. Place on the baking tray and press balls with a fork to flatten and decorate.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly coloured. As soon as you can smell the cheese in the biscuits they are almost done.

Cool on a wire rack until completely cold, then store in an airtight container into which some kitchen paper has been placed. If biscuits are not needed for a week or two, seal the airtight container with tape.

To serve, reheat at very low temperature on baking sheet until biscuits are warm but not hot.