Ricotta Fritters- Savory and Sweet

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Savory Spinach Bacon Ricotta FritterYea- one culinary challenge crossed off the list! The last two days have been preoccupied with making homemade ricotta following the procedure outlined at Becks & Posh.

It’s so easy and rewarding! The ricotta is almost sweet tasting on its own. I’ve made all my batches with whole milk, and am now going to try some with reduced fat milk and compare the two.

Sweet Orange Ricotta FrittersI made a small pan of lasagna with my ricotta, using a free form filling of ricotta, cooked spinach, some cooked bacon, an egg and parmasean.

While waiting for the lasagna to cook, I made a batch of orange ricotta fritters using this recipe found on epicurious. The resulting fritters are amazing and addictive! Sweet, slighty orangy in a way that makes you think of honey. Eggy, like dutch babies. Not too sweet! I recommend doubling the recipe though as these disappeared way to fast.

I don’t fry things very often, so when I have hot oil ina pan, my eye tends to linger on other fryable possibilities in my kitchen. Inspired by the simple orange ricotta fritter, I realized that my leftover lasagna filling was almost a savory version of this fritter- all it needed was a splash of flour and maybe more egg. The resulting fritters are just as good as the orange ones!
Slightly salty with a creamy cheese flavor, light, crisp, and a finish of smoky bacon. This recipe is so simple and easy to adapt to many variations. Gruyere with onion would be an excellent next version to try.

Savory Spinach Bacon Ricotta Fritters

Savory Spinach Bacon Ricotta Fritter
This recipe is an approximation on how to recreate my lasagna inspired fritters. The consistency of the dough is very similar to biscuit dough, a good texture to aim for when making these fried goodies.

In a pan over medium heat, crisp up one strip of bacon, cubed into tiny pieces. When crispy, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper bag or another absorbant surface to drain.

Cook two handfulls of raw spinach in the microwave till limp. Allow to cool slightly and squeeze out as much of the water from the cooked spinach as possible. Place the dried cooked spinach to a mixing bowl. Add the bacon bits, one egg, a pinch of salt, about 1 oz of grated parmesan and 1/2 cup of ricotta. Mix thoroughly. Add 1/3 cup of flour and mix the flour in only until just barely combined. The dough should be very thick, similar to a biscuit dough. Place the dough in the refigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Heat approximately 1 cup of vegetable oil in a high walled pan for pan frying the fritters. Through experimentation I found that cooking the fritters at a slightly lower temperature (275F with fritters already cooking in it) gave them time for the insides to cook with out overly browning the outer layer. Since these are to be cooked all the way through, as opposed to just cooking an outer layer, thorough cooking time is desired to prevent a too wet inside to your fritters.

Using a small scoop that dispenses about 1 Tbs, scoop rounds of batter into your oil. The oil should just barely sizzle around the dough. Using a dry fork, flip the fritters over so that they achieve an even golden coloring all the way around. My best batches of fritter took approximatley 10 minutes in the oil to reach golden brown. Scoop out the golden fritters, draining briefly and then popping on a baking sheet in the hot oven. Continue cooking your dough in this manner adding the finished fritters to the baking sheet in the oven. The oven cooking seems to drive off more of the cooking oil from the product, and ensures that the insides get heated to completion.

Remove the fritters from the oven and sprinkle with salt and enjoy.

9 Comments

posted March 19th, 2006 at 1:58 pm

Haven’t made ricotta (or any cheese) in a while. Now that I have access to raw milk again I really should, and ricotta’s so fun and versatile. Wonder if there’s anywhere around here to get sheep’s milk…

Fritter recipe looks great too. Must replace our stolen deep-fryer soon.


  • Stolen?!

    Check out Sundance or the Kiva for some different milk options- tho I haven’t noticed sheep, but have seen goat milk. I think chatting up the people back at Kiva’s deli counter might be a good start to finding people with sheep milk.

    Mmmm

    –McAuliflower

- Ryan Dawe-Stotz
posted March 21st, 2006 at 3:21 am

Just a quick question – my issue with ricotta has been the texture, and normally when I do use it in recipes, I throw it in the food processor to make it a bit creamier and less chunky.
What’s the texture on your homemade ricotta like?

  • The texture here was solid- like firm tofu, because I drained and pressed it significantly. I think storing it in water would help push it to a creamier side.

    –McAuliflower

posted March 21st, 2006 at 10:37 pm

Yup, stolen deep-fryer, full of (likely rancid) lard. Along with:

* A package of Nueske’s bacon
* A package of Nueske’s Canadian bacon
* A package of Savoie’s hogshead cheese
* A bottle of 1998 Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne
* Two quarts of orange juice (man, I’ll bet those were some tasty mimosas)
* A box of leftover Chinese takeout rice
* A little boombox
* My wife’s wallet

We found a package of flour tortillas on the couch by the front door. Hands must’ve been full. Only in New Orleans would you get robbed and have people take this stuff but leave alone my humidor, TV, stereo, etc. I mean, hell, I’d have stolen Nueske’s bacon. No shame in that game.

I have checked out the Kiva (I live a block from it), and am encouraged that they intermittently stock raw cow’s milk. Raw goat’s milk used to be found around here, but haven’t seen it in a while. I’m somewhat surprised that I haven’t seen sheep’s milk either raw or pasteurized around here considering that Oregon’s got a robust lamb industry (that annoyingly seems to crowd out market availability of superior New Zealand/Australian/Icelandic lamb).

Back before I moved away from Eugene I used to get raw cow’s milk from this farm (Lakeview, I think, outside Junction City on Highway 99) that didn’t sell elsewhere. Made some mind-melting homemade raw butter with that cream. Anyway, I’m going to groundlessly extrapolate that to meant that there’s got to be some sheep farmer out there who’s milking those little mothers and not sharing with the rest of us, and by gum, I’m going to find him/her.

- Ryan Dawe-Stotz
posted March 22nd, 2006 at 6:21 pm

I have always told people about these deep fried calzones that a neighbor of mine made when I was a kid (40 yrs ago yikes) She always called them calzones,it was a very ethnic Italian family. Anyway these sound remarkably like them and I will give them a try. Thanks

- carol corlin
posted March 23rd, 2006 at 1:35 pm

Did you know March 19 is St. Joseph Day and that ricotta fritters (sweet, not savory; called Sfinge or Zeppole depending on where in Italy your family hails from) are the traditional dessert?

Also served is Cavazune, or St. Joseph’s Pants.

Seeing this post reminded me that I forgot to make zeppole this year…

  • That’s a new holiday for me. Though I bet if I looked into it everyday probably has a Saint associated with it!
    St. Joseph’s pants- that’s cute! With Hammentaschen we almost have a whole outfit!

    –McAuliflower

- Melissa
posted March 23rd, 2006 at 4:24 pm

That’s a gorgeous picture of the savory fritter! It inspires me to make my own ricotta and have a dumpling-themed meal of the creamy and flavorful spinach/ricotta fritters and the delicate ricotta gnocchi from the Zuni Cookbook (which are just made from ricotta, eggs, butter, herbs, salt, and parm-reggiano and rolled in flour before being cooked).

- Nina
posted March 19th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Hey! Faith from The Kitchen here. Thanks for your comment on the Slinks post; that doesn’t look too good, does it? I’ve left a comment on the GroupRecipes site asking the user to clarify his use of your photo and the Epicurious recipe. Hopefully he will remove it or ask you for permission. If not, I’ll send the site admin an email.

http://www.grouprecipes.com/764/sweet-orange-ricotta-fritters.html

Thanks for pointing it out, and I hope it gets worked out!

posted December 12th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Hi.
I am looking through one of my cookbooks and came across this recipe.

I was just wondering where in Italy it comes from and if you know of any sites where i can find more info about this dish.

Thanks.

- Ashley
posted June 2nd, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Can these fritters be made ahead and frozen?

- collettecarr

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