We're trying to get back into the habit of Sunday brunch because it is a very lovely habit to have. The main issue that I have with Sunday brunch is that it usually takes place quite early - certainly early enough that I want to limit the number of processes involved and my exposure to things that are sharp and hot. This one, while not immediately screaming of breakfast foodstuffs, actually fits the bill pretty well because you can get the cakes prepared the night before and, actually, they benefit from a few hours chilling and firming up in the fridge.
The original recipe was a Gordon Ramsay one which I have, as is ever my wont, tweaked a little bit. We topped the little cakes with a poached egg and a drizzle of Sriracha hot sauce to make it brunch appropriate. I reckon they'd be nice as a light, summery main meal with some sort of salad and grain, or even whacked in a bun to make a vegetarian alternative to a burger.
It doesn't really need saying but, just in case someone has stumbled on to this accidentally, excuse the bloody awful food photography. I succeed in making everything look terrible,
Courgette, coarsely grated
Carrot, coarsely grated
120g halloumi, grated
60g (about 1 slice from a standard, thick sliced loaf) bread, reduced to crumbs
Zest of 1/4 small lemon
Flour, for dusting
Tbsp vegetable oil
To serve (optional):
Place a sieve or a colander over the sink and, inside, layer up the courgette and carrot gratings (is this the word?) along with some generous pinches of salt. Set aside for half an hour or so.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, place the grated halloumi.
Blitz your bread into crumbs using a small processor. Add the roughly chopped Parmesan along with seasoning and the oregano and blitz again to form fine, cheesy crumbs. Tip this into the bowl alongside the halloumi and grate in the lemon zest.
When the vegetables have had sufficient time to give up some of their water content, give them a quick rinse and a thorough wring-out. Pat them dry on a bit of kitchen paper and then whack into the bowl, along with one egg. Mix thoroughly to form a sort of loose, colourful dough.
Lightly dust a large plate with flour and then dampen your hands, which will make it easier to form the cakes without the mixture sticking everywhere. I got six little patties out of this amount, but makes as many as you wish depending on how you intend to serve them. When the patties are formed, put on the floured plate and turn over a couple of times to lightly coat.
Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. If you're cooking them for breakfast then overnight is perfect.
When the time comes to serve, heat the oil up in a good, non-stick frying pan (alternatively, we have taken to lining the base of our pans with non-stick baking paper. If you do this, you can dispense with the oil altogether, or you can brush it lightly over the surface prior to cooking). Fry the patties for around 5 minutes on the first side then gently turn over and cook for a further 3-4, until a decent crust has formed and they are warmed through.
If you are serving these with a poached egg then be sure to have the pan of water ready boiling when the cakes go in to fry and just drop the eggs in for the last couple of minutes of cooking.
Serve according to taste.