The beauty of this fritter recipe is that it combines very expensive ingredients (chanterelle) with very cheap ingredients (yellow split peas). Yellow split peas are among my favourite legumes. They have a cheerful color, a sweet flavour and a texture that I find comforting. I don’t cook with fresh Chanterelle mushrooms very often, but only because they are not available often where I live, and when they are, they are quite pricy. Chanterelle are very, very good in Red Wine and Squash Panade (also known as Duck Fat Soup). They would also be amazing in Wild Mushroom Cobbler or a Layered Blini Mushroom Cassarole. I only make these dishes for very special occasions though, because they are rich and expensive to make.
These fritters are full of wonderful wild mushroom flavour, but they are not too extravagant to eat for lunch. If you are lucky enough to live in a place where you could pick wild chanterelle yourself, this would be a very affordable dish indeed! I wish that I could say that I think this would work with regular old cultivated button mushrooms, but it really would not. I did, however, make one delicious batch with half as many fresh chanterelle as the recipe called for and generous shake of wild mushroom powder.
Three fritters with a salad make a filling lunch. The recipe makes about fifteen fritters. I keep the batter in the fridge and fry them up as I need them.
GOLDEN SPLIT PEA FRITTERS WITH BACON AND CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS
adapted from Sepamaa Talu köök Osa 2 by Anni Arno
- 2 cups dry yellow split peas, soaked in water overnight
- 4 oz of bacon (about 3 thick slices), chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- about 8 oz fresh chanterelle mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp towel and chopped
- 1 large or 2 small eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons of flour plus more for dusting (I used buckwheat flour)
- salt and pepper
- butter or olive oil for frying
- Add the soaked yellow split peas to a medium pot of salted water. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer the peas until they are tender.
- Meanwhile, fry the chopped bacon and onions until they are nicely browned.
- Add the mushrooms and fry until they release their liquid and the liquid evaporates.
- Strain the cooked peas and combine them with the saute. Put the mixture into a blender and process until about half of the mixture forms a paste and the other half still has whole peas and bits of bacon, onions and mushrooms. You could also do this by hand with a fork or potato masher. Taste the mixture and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the puree with the egg and flour in a large bowl.
- Start some oil or butter heating in a large skillet.
- Use floured hands to form small patties (a scant quarter cup). Dust each patty lightly with flour before dropping it into the hot pan. Fry the patties until they are golden on each side.
- Serve the fritters hot or at room temperature, with a crisp romaine salad and with buttermilk dressing.
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Just looking at the list of ingredients I can taste those lovely autumn flavours!