Saffron-Sun Dried Tomato-Zucchini-Bell Pepper Pancakes

Saffron risotto is one of my all time favorite dishes. It can be a side, as with the classic Osso Buco alla Milanese, it can be a main course as with Risotto all Saracena (with prawns, pine nuts, raisins and a touch of tomato...so Sicilian, or Saracen as it were) and it can also be an appetizer as with Suppli al Telefono...risotto balls, filled with a nugget of mozzarella then breaded and fried. And, in this case, these risotto pancakes are super versatile...tiny bites? Check. Appetizer portion size? Check. Main course portion size, topped with say...prawns scampi. Check! And they're pancakes...so yes, breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, or midnight snack...so so so yummy any time of day or night.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Risotto (follow the recipe on the container but omit the butter)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour (have another ½ cup ready in case your cakes turn out loose)
  • ½ cup Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes with Italian Basil, rough chopped
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers, drained well and rough chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, seeded (cut the center out) and diced medium
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn
  • ½ cup bread crumbs, any kind
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • ½-1 cup Bella Sun Luci extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • *1 tsp of this oil will be for cooking the saffron
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil for cooking the saffron on a high flame, add the saffron and turn off. Remove pan from burner and stir for 1 minute, then set aside in a cool place.Stir occasionally as it cools.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs in with the milk and then add the saffron and the oil you cooked it in to the egg-milk mixture.
  3. In a large bowl combine well all of the ingredients (except the ½-1 C of oil) including the saffron-egg-milk mixture.
  4. Form into balls about the size of a golf ball, then flatten/TIGHTLY form into patties and arrange on a baking sheet.If the first couple of cakes naturally fall apart, put them back into the original mixture and add the second ¼ C flour to better bind your “batter”, then form your balls/cakes. Smaller cakes are more elegant, bigger cakes are easier.
  5. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
  6. Do ONE test cake. If it falls apart, add another ¼ C flour. Then turn to medium.
  7. Carefully cook the patties and cook until they are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the patties from the oil to a baking sheet lined with a brown bag or paper towels to drain the excess oil. Transfer to a serving tray and serve hot.
  8. You can serve the cakes with any dipping sauce of your choice. Chipotle aioli or chive aioli have consistently been great accompaniment
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