Even Thanksgiving leftovers can be a source of ingredients for fritters, I found recently. I had a whole cauliflower that needed to be eaten and a lot of other leftovers in my fridge. There must be a fritter in the making, I mused. I wanted a fritter to serve with the turkey soup I’d made for dinner, just something to chew on while we sipped the turkey veggie soup.
I pulled the cauliflower out first, and divided it in sections. I kept enough to make about a cup of finely chopped cauliflower. I set it aside in a bowl and dived into the fridge for my next ingredients.
Roast turkey? I hadn’t made any fritters with a meat protein in them before but why not? Turkey was a meat that could be paired with a lot of other flavors. I used about a cup of both white and dark meat and chopped it finely. I set it aside in a bowl.
Green onions! I like green onions in fritters. Others often call them shallots, but whatever you call them, I sliced up about a half cup and set them aside in a bowl.
Cheese, we needed some cheesy goodness and I pulled a bag of white cheddar out of the fridge. I put about a cup into a bowl and set it aside.
As I final leftover I chopped up a big handful of fresh spinach.
I was ready for the base, the batter that would bring my ingredients together into a fine fritter. I had wanted to try a cornmeal mixture and found one of my Pinterest pins that called for okra as the vegetable. I would adapt the recipe and substitute my own ingredients for the okra and jalapeno used in this recipe.
I measured the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, egg and water into a bowl and mixed it well. It was too dry so I added another ½ cup of water. I stirred in a teaspoon of garlic powder and a large pinch of red pepper flakes.
I stirred in my bowls of chopped ingredients well and the texture was a bit watery. I knew from experience that I’d need a second egg to keep it together in a batter. I beat the egg then stirred it into my fritter mixture. Looked good so far!
I heated my flat nonstick skillet on medium, then drizzled it with oil. Using a large spoon I carefully made about 9 round fritters. A couple wanted to run away and I used my spatula to form them back into nice clean rounds.
When the first side was lightly browned I flipped them and let the second side brown. I removed them from the skillet and put them into an ovenproof dish and set them in the oven set on 300°F to keep warm while I made more batches of fritters.
In all, the recipe made about 30 fritters. It was way more than we needed but they were good leftover. I think I’d cut the recipe in half next time I make them, unless we’re having guests. The flavors were great- a good way to use leftover turkey and cauliflower in a cornmeal fritter with just a touch of heat. They were a great accompaniment to the turkey soup!
Turkey Cauli Cornmeal Fritters
2 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs; beaten
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups cold water plus more if needed (I added 1/2 cup)
1 cup roasted turkey; diced
1 cup raw cauliflower; finely chopped
1 cup fresh spinach; chopped
1/2 cup green onions or scallions; diced
1 cup white cheddar; shredded
Cranberry sauce for dipping (optional)
Mix cornmeal, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Add beaten egg and water. Stir well.
Stir in rest of ingredients until well mixed. Add water if necessary, but use caution so it doesn’t get too wet.
Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet to medium-medium high and drizzle with oil. Drop fritters and shape to size of about 2″ across. Fry until browned on both sides, keeping them in an oven heated to 300°F while you make the remaining fritters.