I love the way that everything slows down in September. Summer is crazy (in the best way possible) and then ....it fades, and there is a calmness that comes in as the weather becomes cooler. I love it. Everything is better in September. Can we make that into a t-shirt and wear it all year round?
If we are insta-friends, you may have noticed I am spending most of my time recently outside of NYC, in Amagansett NY, to be close to my mom as she gets better. It's mostly a summer beach town, so it gets really quite during the weeks after labor day. As much as I am missing nyc around this time, I am loving spending this time of year with the peace, the quiet, the ocean, and the farm stands. I feel like I am getting to know myself a little better as I am not constantly making plans to go out and eat out. I am cooking every single meal at home, I am reading a (fiction) book, and I am taking a bubble bath every evening. I cannot remember the last time my life has been this slow, and I am loving every second of it.
I am also really loving getting my all produce from the local farm stands, which means I am still cooking with an abundance of late summer veggies like zucchini and corn. I never tire of these late summer veggies, in fact, I like to savor every last second.
I cannot say goodbye to summer until some form of corn fritter has been enjoyed. So to sneak in one last hurrah I made this zucchini / corn / sweet potato fritter .... for you ... and me. I also made some some crazy delicious avocado poblano sauce and homemade pita bread for us to to enjoy along with it. You're welcome.
So, let's talk homemade pita. I am one of those people who loves to make things at home from scratch.......but there is a huge stipulation attached to that statement. I am someone like loves to make things at home AS LONG AS IT'S EASY. I leave the complicated things to the experts, and luckily near me, I have no problem finding goods made from scratch from the best ingredients.
However, the other day I wanted some pita, so I went to the store and tried to find the best, organic, gluten-free, blah blah bread I could find. I was pretty turned off by what I found, and I even more turned off by the crazy long list of ingredients ......even in the organic pita breads. So with that, I decided to make my own. A bit scared of what I would find when googling "how to make pita bread" ..... I was in for a total shocker when I discovered that pita bread is one of the easiest things you can make at home. So easy, that I am mad at myself for not attempting this sooner.
5 minutes prep time, 6 ingredients that I always have on hand, 10 minutes in the oven, and I have fresh, gluten-free, dairy-free, "organic", homemade pita bread, that is warm and toasty right out of the oven. YES. I'll take that all day every day.
zucchini + corn + sweet potato fritters | poblano + avocado cream | homemade (gf+df) pita bread
*This gf pita bread was adapted from this genius recipe found HERE.
MAKES about 9 fritters and a couple pita rounds
for the poblano avocado cream:
1 clove of garlic
a couple tablespoons of avocado oil (or another neutral vegetable oil)
a pinch of salt
the juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup of water
for the pita:
2 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum (if your gf flour blend does not have it)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large egg + 1 large egg white
1/4 cup of warm water + another 1/2 cup
for the fritters:
2 zucchinis, grated or peeled with a julienne peeler then diced
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup of brown rice flour (or regular all-purpose flour if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
a couple tablespoons of sunflower oil (or another neutral high-heat oil)
optional accompaniments the fritters + pita: some additional raw shredded zucchini, sprouts, lettuce, avocado, tomato, cucumber, etc
Start by preparing the poblano avocado cream:
- Pre-heat the oven to 450º
- Place the poblano on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until the poblano is brown and charred on the outside. Remove, and place in a bowl and cover with a towel for about 10 minutes (this will allow it to steam a little, and make the skin easier to remove).
- Once the pobano has cooled, peel off the skin, and remove the stem and the seeds inside.
- Place the poblano and all of the other ingredients except for the water into a food processor. Pulse several times until everything is combined. Then, add the water little by litter until you have your desired consistency. I found that 1/2 cup worked well. Set aside, or covered in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Then, make the pita bread:
- Lower the oven temperature / or pre-heat to 400º. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while the oven warms (you can also use a large baking sheet).
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the sifted gf flour, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder and sea salt and blend on low speed to combine all the dry ingredients.
- Then, add in the egg and egg white and the olive oil and blend until combined. Then, add 1/4 cup of warm water and blend until incorporated. Lastly, slowly pour in the additional 1/2 cup of warm water and blend on low speed for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and just barley pulling off the edges. It should be a very wet and runny dough.
- Lay a piece of parchment out on a flat surface and spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture and smooth it out with the back of the spoon. They will look a little bit like pancakes, and they should about 4-6" in diameter. Leave at least an 1" between each. You should end up with about 3-4.
- Very carefully, remove the pizza stone or baking sheet from the oven, and transfer the dough and parchment onto the stone or baking sheet. Place it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. The dough should rise slightly and be a light brown on top. Remove and place on a write rack to cool. I like to serve the pita while they are still a little warm, so you can cover them so they keep warm while you prepare the fritters.
Make the fritters:
- Place the shredded zucchini into a colander with some salt. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes to draw out the liquid. Squeeze the zucchini to get rid of any excess liquid. You can also place them in a towel and squeeze some more. The more liquid you can remove, the better. Set aside while you continue to prepare the fritters.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron over medium heat. Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes until soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the corn kernels and sweet potato and sautee for several minutes until everything is soft and tender. Place in a separate bowl to cool slightly before incorporating with the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add the cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, and baking soda and stir to incorporate everything. Add the zucchini, corn, and sweet potato and stir again until everything is mixed together.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in the same cast iron. Make sure the oil coats the bottom of the pan. Using a spoon and your hands, spoon about 1/4 cup full of the mixture into your hands and roll it around and press it together and form a ball. Then carefully place it in the pan with the oil and press down with the back of the spoon. Do this in batches. I had about three going at once, and did three batches. Cook them for 3-5 minutes on each side, and remove and set on a paper towel lined plate.
Assemble the dish:
- Cut the pita open by making a slit in the top, and cut half-way around. Stuff the fritter inside the pita, along with any toppings such as the shredded zucchini, sprouts, lettuce, avocado, tomato, etc etc. Then, finish with a healthy drizzle of the poblano avocado sauce.