Crumbed biltong and ricotta fritters
All serious braai-ers know that a braai is not a braai without some biltong for snacking. I LOVE biltong! I love it on a sandwich with some avocado, as a topping on creamy scrambled eggs or even in a quiche. The dry and salty nature of biltong makes it perfect for storing – very handy for those times when you’re in a hurry and need to add a bit of meat to a dish.
I usually buy a large piece of biltong that is still a bit “wet”. I then store it covered in a brown bag in a cool, dry cupboard until it dries to my liking. It can then be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge. Carve it as you need it and slice off a few bits here and there to add to salads, sandwiches or egg dishes.
The art of braaing involves some very needed snacking while the fire gets made and the wait for decent coals lingers on. I’m a firm believer in braaing with wood – the flavour you get from smoky wood is incomparable. As soon as I get the first whiff of a braai fire, my stomach starts to growl… and that is where these golden biltong fritters of yumminess comes in.
They are soft and tender on the inside due to the sliced biltong and creamy ricotta. They are crumbed in some Panko crumbs which always guarentees a golden, crunchy crust. (Find Panko crumbs at your local Asian supermarket).
These fritters are great to send around while standing at the fire. They’re easy to make and so worth the little bit of frying time that needs to be spent in the kitchen. Always fry the fritters off just before serving to ensure you have them crunchy and warm.
(makes 12 fritters)
375ml (1 ½ cup) Greek yoghurt
45ml (3tbsp) wholegrain mustard
zest of ½ lemon
230g (1 cup) ricotta
pinch of cayenne pepper
100g (1 cup) sliced biltong, roughly chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
15ml (1Tbsp) chives, finely chopped
2.5ml (½ tsp) fine salt
45ml (3tsbp) cake flour
375ml (1 ½ cups) panko crumbs
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1. For the dipping sauce, stir everything together and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
2. For the fritters, combine the ricotta, cayenne pepper, biltong, spring onion, chives and salt together. Lightly whisk the egg with a fork and stir it into the mixture. Stir in the flour.
3. Form it into 12 balls and roll it in the panko crumbs.
4. Heat the oil until it reaches 180°C. Fry the fritters off in batches and drain them on some paper towel. Serve it with the dipping sauce on the side.
– For a different flavour profile, replace the biltong with some chopped bacon or chorizo sausage.
– Add a small chilli that has been finely chopped to the mixture if you’d like to turn it into a spicier fritter.
– If you want to go the extra mile and prepare your own breadcrumbs then simply place a few slices of white bread onto a baking tray. Drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and then place it in the oven at 200C for 12-15 minutes. They should crisp and dry. Allow them to cool and then place in a food processor. Process until coarse breadcrumbs form.
– Always drain any deep-fried food on some paper towel. This way you get rid of unnecessary oil and it ensures a crispier result.
– Other flavouring ideas for the yoghurt dipping sauce: sundried tomato pesto, basil pesto, sweet chili sauce, olive tapenade or hummus.