MUSIC PAIRING: The Temper Trap, Conditions
Allison and I have a Sunday Funday tradition every week. We head down the street to our favorite margarita spot, where they’re only $6 on Sundays, and have a couple over a shared plate of nachos. We’ve been going to this joint since 2006 and it remains one of my very favorite places. Since Allison decided to be selfish and head on over to Spain for the week, I very sadly had to forego my cheesy plate of goodness. Instead, I decided to go in a drastically different direction and make something good for me. Who have I become?!? Allison, this is all your fault.
Although I’m Southern to the core and prefer meals comprised of all things mac and cheese or biscuit related, I have a very deep love of Mediterranean cuisine. It’s so full of bold, dynamic flavors that are almost all fantastic for you. Except if you’re me and eat a year’s worth of pita and tsatziki in one sitting.
I haven’t done much Mediterranean cooking personally so I was stoked to receive both the Jerusalem and Plenty cookbooks from my brother and sister-in-law last Christmas. Today, I decided to cook my first recipe from Jerusalem and it sure didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was good enough to squelch thoughts of crispy chips piled with guacamole and sour cream. Ok, so maybe I’m still craving nachos.
Isn’t dill the prettiest? I absolutely love it.
These fritters felt like I was really doing my insides a favor. Fresh, healthful and packed with nutrients which I needed after treating myself to a big ol’ pile of fries the other night. Well, fries and tater tots if I’m being forthcoming. Ok, so fries, tater tots and a fat spoonful of marshmallow fluff. I should stop talking now.
The question of the day is can I find the willpower to stay away from ordering nachos for dinner?
Why The Temper Trap? Today I was really missing Italy. Missing being with my culinary mates and working so hard and just being engrossed in all things cooking. While I was in the stage (intern basically) portion of school where we were all separated and sent to various regions to work for a couple of months, I had no internet, TV, radio…really anything except my ancient, bum ipod that worked for maybe 20 minutes a day. Patrick introduced me to The Temper Trap and I loaded them onto my ipod just before leaving for Italy. For whatever reason, the Conditions album was on repeat for me nearly the entire time I was in Lucca. I just loved it. It evokes a lot of emotion for me as that time was just about the most bittersweet set of months I’ve ever experienced. So, in my haze of missing Italy today, Temper Trap is the only thing I wanted to hear. On repeat.
Recipe adapted from: Jerusalem
- 14 ounces swiss chard, stalks removed
- 1 ounce flat leaf parsley
- 2/3 ounce cilantro
- 2/3 ounce dill
- 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ounces feta cheese
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a couple of handfuls of salt and the chard. Simmer for five minutes then drain. Squeeze chard well until completely dry.
- Place in a food processor along with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth. Fold in the feta.
- Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add half the olive oil. Drop by tablespoon sized dollops into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and chard mixture.
- Mix yogurt, lemon zest, coriander and cayenne together and serve on the side to dip along with the lemon wedges.
- I wrote this recipe exactly as the book shows. However, I changed it quite significantly when I made it. I used kale instead of the sad looking chard at the store, added a lot more of the herbs, used one garlic clove instead of two, omitted the sugar, forgot the feta (whoops!) and added the yogurt for dipping. I realized I didn't measure any of what I did which is a shame because mine turned out delicious. Remembering the feta would've made them even better, dangit.
- That said, I wrote the original recipe for you here so that you can decide whether or not you'd like to follow the rules or make it your own as I did.