A recipe from Stephen Markwick
This has been one of Stephen’s best loved summer dishes since his days with George Perry-Smith. It’s a simple recipe but needs a bit of care as the cucumbers produce a lot of moisture and you don’t want your batter to get too thin. Don’t try and make it for too many people at a time as you want the batter to stay crisp.
- 1 cucumber
- A pinch of ground dill seeds
For the batter:
- 110 g plain flour
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium eggs, separated
- Salt and pepper
For the dill cream:
- 150ml sour cream
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- A squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 tbsp)
- A few sprigs of fresh dill, finely snipped
- Salt and Pepper
- To make the batter, put the flour, olive oil, egg yolks and salt into a bowl. Add a few drops of water and beat with a wooden spoon or whisk
- Leave the batter for 5-10 minutes, then add a little more water – you should be aiming for the consistency of a thick paste.
- If needs more water, add a few drops, but do not add all the water at once as you don’t want the batter to get too thin or you’re stuffed! (Don’t add more flour as this will make it lumpy.) It may need some practice to get it right.
- Next make the dill cream – tip the sour cream into a bowl, mix in the olive oil and lemon juice, then stir in the chopped dill and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover this mixture and leave it in the fridge for an hour for the flavours to infuse.
- Cut the cucumber into 1cm slices, season with salt and ground dill seed and leave it with a weighted plate on top for about 15 minutes to get rid of any excess water.
- Drain and pat dry with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.
- Heat the oil to 180° (This is easier, safer and less smelly in a deep fat fryer.)
- Whip the egg whites until they hold a soft peak and fold into the batter.
- Dip the cucumber slices in the batter and fry them a few at a time until golden, flipping them over so that they brown evenly on all sides. (This will take about 3-5 minutes a batch.)
- Drain on kitchen paper.
Grind a little salt over the cucumber fritters and serve with the dill cream and a few lightly dressed salad leaves.