Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Fried Tomato Balls and a new dining table

I have been away for so long I don't even remember when the last time was that I sat down to post something.
I had a few reasons though as there have been things going on - 2 bookfairs, Easter holidays, the usual busy schedule and some DIY that I have been doing recently! Yes, I realised one day that this flat needed some re-decoration and re-vamping but didn't want to spend a lot of money either. Besides, I had been looking for the ideal dining table and chairs all over and could not find what I wanted - so I made it myself (thanks to many design blogs which showed me how to). I was very worried in the beginning that things would not work out and I would end up throwing away to the bin the pieces of furniture I had bought (yes, cheap, but still..) and that I was just wasting my time making our flat look like a studio / lab. But in the end everything turned out very nice and now we actually have a decent table that doesn't wobble to eat on!
So, returning to a more relevant to this blog subject, a few weeks ago I made tomato fritters, or fried tomato balls , call them as you like. I tend to not use the frying pan very much as it's not the healthiest way of cooking, but some times you just need something fried and nothing else will do.  These tomato balls can be found on many of the Greek islands (and nowdays, the mainland too) and they are a great starter or mezze. The taste will depend a lot on the tomatoes, so they'd better be of a good quality, ripe and pretty. And you know what? they are suitable for vegetarians too!
Here is how I made them, following loosely Tesa Kiros' recipe:

300 gr ripe red tomatoes
70 gr red onion, chopped
3 tbsp chopped parsley
100 gr plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
olive oil, for frying

Slice the tomatoes into 6 wedges, then chop each wedge into 4 pieces.
Scrape off the board where you were chopping the tomatoes into a bowl but leave behind any excess juice. Add the onion, parsley and half the flour to the bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Leave for 10 minutes or so to soften
Now make a paste with the remaining flour, the baking powder and 80 ml (1/3 cup) of water.

Add this paste to the bowl and mix in well.
Heat a generous amount of olive oil in the frying pan until very hot. Scoop up a good tablespoon of the mixture and with another spoon, scrape this into the hot olive oil in irregular fritters. Fry a few at a time and turn them over when golden to fry the other side.

as the tomato fritters were being fried - a view from the kitchen window

frying the tomato balls in irregular fritters

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate with kitchen paper. Serve them on a clean plate.

You might want to add mint when you make the batter, to give it a zingy flavour but parsley is definitely a winner!