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Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Fritters with Spicy Balsamic Reduction and Black Bean and Corn Cilantro Salad

15 Mar

As soon as I saw this recipe over at Closet Cooking, I was excited to make it.  Roasted red peppers and feta work so well together, and I’m a big fan of any fritter-like food.  As we were eating, Zak told me he was initially skeptical about the sounds of this meal but was very pleasantly surprised at first bite.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, either, but we were both very happy with the final result.  I decided to punch it up just a bit by adding some corn to the fritters and creating a spicy balsamic reduction.  The spicy balsamic paired very nicely with the sweetness of the roasted peppers and saltiness of the crumbled feta cheese.  These fritters are absolutely gorgeous.  They would serve 4-5 as an appetizer and served the two of us as a light meal.  I added a small black bean and corn salad as a side dish to round this out as a full meal.  Paired with the sweet corn and creamy black beans, this was a real winner.

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Fritters with Spicy Balsamic Reduction and Black Bean and Corn Cilantro Salad

Adapted from Closet Cooking

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Fritters:

4 medium red bell peppers, halved lengthwise with stems, seeds, and ribs removed

Non-stick cooking spray

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted

1 cup curly leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 tbs. dried marjoram

2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1 large clove garlic, finely minced (I used the clove from the spicy balsamic reduction)

1/4 cup feta, crumbled

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1/2-1 cup all-natural, whole wheat flour

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbs. corn oil

Preheat broiler.

Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place red pepper halves on baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place in broiler and broil 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until flesh of peppers is blacked and charred.

Transfer immediately to a zip lock bag and zip closed.  Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.  Remove the skins from the peppers – they should easily slide off at this point.

Roughly chop the roasted red peppers.  If there is a lot of liquid in the peppers, drain through a colander.

In a medium bowl, mix together chopped roasted red peppers, corn, parsley, oregano, onions, garlic, feta, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Mix together thoroughly.

Slowly mix in flour until the fritters will hold together.

Heat oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of fritter mixture, flattened, into the pan and cook 3-5 minutes per side until crispy.  Serve with spicy balsamic reduction.

Spicy Balsamic Reduction:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbs. brown sugar

1 clove garlic, crushed with flat of knife and peeled

1 tbs. sriracha with chilies

Heat balsamic vinegar and garlic clove in a small saucepan over medium heat.  When bubbles begin to form, whisk in brown sugar and sriracha.  Let simmer until reduced by half and thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.  Remove garlic clove before serving.  Serve atop roasted red pepper and feta fritters.

Black Bean and Corn Cilantro Salad:

1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted

1/4 cup jasmine or other white rice, cooked according to package instructions

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

2 tbs. olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Mix together all ingredients and let chill in refrigerator.

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