Trinidadian Sweet Potato Fritters in a Callaloo Sauce

I had purchased sweet potatoes for another recipe and then decided I wasn’t in the mood for it. Since sweet potatoes are native to the Americas and the Caribbean, I thought it would be interesting to try making a recipe from the Caribbean. I’ve never tried cooking Trinidadian food, but there’s a Trinidadian restaurant in D.C. called Crown Bakery that I was introduced to by some Trinidadian coworkers. It was one of the most delicious places I’ve ever eaten and long after I stopped working at that job, I continued going back for doubles. Since I haven’t historically found I much enjoyed other Caribbean dishes, Trinidad seemed like a good place to start my Carribean cooking journey.

I found this recipe for Trinidadian Sweet Potato Fritters in a Callaloo Sauce. The spinach (aka: callaloo) is blended in a coconut sauce. The sweet potatoes are roasted before being combined into the patty mixture and then pan fried. The recipe wasn’t super well written and required some interpetation. The ingredient list included “1 green”. I left out the scotch bonnets since I’m trying to avoid spicy foods. I kept the uncoooked patty mixture in the fridge and just fried the number of patties I wanted to eat with each meal.

I really enjoyed the dish the first night I ate it but less and less as the week went on. I found myself having to make myself eat it instead of something else. The sauce has a very interesting flavor to it, but it’s not one I wanted to eat all week long. I didn’t love the flavor of the fritters. That’s not surprising since sweet potatoes are one of my less favorite vegetables. I also thought the fritters needed something else to hold them together. All in all, you’ll probably really enjoy this if you generally enjoy the flavors and ingredients in the dish. But I don’t think it’s the dish to convert anyone who doesn’t already love sweet potatoes and Carribbean flavors. Although, maybe with the scotch bonnet the dish might have changed.


Green Okonomiyaki

My sister has been raving for years about her okonomiyaki recipe as an easy tasty weeknight dinner. Apparently okonomyaki is a Japanese cabbage pancake. It really never sounded that good to me. But I recently found myself with a bunch of Chinese cabbage so I decided to try making it. Instead of my sister’s recipe, which has high fodmap leeks, I found a New York Times recipe. It was super easy to make, but I didn’t like it. When I made it the way instructed, half the recipe cooked on medium-low for 8 minutes on each side, it came out mushy and uncooked. I added another egg to the second half and cooked a quarter of the recipe at a time. With the extra egg and the thinner pancake, I was able to get it to cook through. But it was way oversalted and basically about as tasty as I thought a cabbage pancake would be. I think I’ll go back to not making okonomiyaki. This one isn’t for me.

Zucchini-Scallion Chickpea Flour Pancakes

When I was in Germany visiting my sister and her family, Rose made a vegan version of these pancakes (since my mom is vegan and the original recipe has egg). They were so tasty! And since it’s zucchini season in my garden, I thought I’d try to make them.

I made Rose’s original version from her blog with buckwheat flour and egg. Super easy and yummy. Rose made them with dal for dipping, which was surprisingly tasty. But since I’m currently trying to eat low FODMAP, lentils were off the table. Instead, I made them with a cold east African soup from The Ethnic Vegetarian. The combo worked really well!

I made the batter over the weekend and just cooked up the number of pancakes I wanted to each each day right before I ate. This worked really well and I had no issues with the batter keeping all week.

Ian is nervous about eating buckwheat flour, so next time I’m going to try to make a version without the buckwheat and report back. I really liked the buckwheat flavor but I don’t think it was absolutely necessary for the texture.

Leek, Kale, and Potato Latkes

My kale is starting to go to seed so I was looking for recipes to use it up. But most of the kale recipes I could find were for soups and hearty stews, and with the weather so hot I just couldn’t get in the mood for that. So I was intrigued when I found this recipe for latkes that uses both kale and leeks, two things I had in my garden.

The result was mixed. The first few I made would not hold together. The 1/4 cup flour just wasn’t enough to hold them. So I added an additional 1/3 cup, and that worked much better. The latkes weren’t amazing or anything. And mine were much less beautiful than the ones on the website (which was likely due to a combination of the fact that I didn’t deep fry and my less thin slicing of the veggies). But they were tasty enough and this was a good and unique way to use up late season kale. I think next time I’d add one additional potato.

Curried Chickpea Pancakes with Spicy Tahini Sauce

After years of owning Fresh Food Fast, I finally got around to try this recipe from page. It was okay, but not notable enough to make again. The main problem with it was the proportions. It claims to make 4 servings. In what world? I ate these pancakes all week and then ended up freezing the rest (maybe 10-20?). They’re still sitting uneaten in my freezer. I’ll probably eventually just throw them out. Overall my impression here was a whole lot of interesting but underwhelming meh.