Stamp n’ Go is a staple at any traditional Jamaican brunch. This amazingly delicious yet insanely simple dish pairs saltfish fritters with a tomato based dipping sauce. Since I started eating like a vegan (officially one year now, yay me!) saltfish is one thing I have really missed. I was over the moon at my birthday dinner when I sampled the artichoke fritters appetizer. That first bite was reminiscent of saltfish. I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to be before. This wasn’t my first time having artichoke so I was well aware of its firm and slightly chewy texture. But having it like that in fritters form helped me make the connection.
So for this month’s crazy ingredient challenge the ingredients were tofu and pomegranate. My first thought was stir fry with a pomegranate sweetcand sour sauce. But then, I already have the perfect stir fry recipe with an amazing sauce so there wouldn’t be much innovation there. My next thought was the fritters. Adding tofu to the mix would bump up the protein in my vegan saltfish-free (sub artichoke) fritters without affecting the flavours. I could also use pomegranate to create a chutney-style dipping sauce would complement the fritters so well and offer non-tomato-lovers an irresistible option. It would be perfect! And, it was!
2 cups all-purpose flour
a scant 1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
3 oz tofu (firm or super firm)
3 – 4 artichoke hearts cut into 1″
8 sprigs thyme finely chopped (~1 1/2 tbs chopped)
4 stalks escallion
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tbs turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water (add as needed)
1/4 cup coconut oil for frying
1/4 cup of juiced pomegranate (see note)
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp arrowroot
2 tbs cold water
Salt and pepper to taste as needed
Make the chutney first as it will take some time for it to reduce and thicken.
1. Add the seeds from 2 pomegranates, to a food processor and pulse to release the juices for about 15 pulses. Strain the juices into a small saucepan and place on medium heat. Return the seeds to the food processor and process again to release any remaining juices and strain again.
2. Mix in the sugar, cayenne pepper, ginger, and cumin. Keep hearing sauce until it starts to boil and reduce to low-medium heat.
3. Add the arrowroot to the cold water so it dissolves then add the solution to the saucepan to thicken up the sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken up then remove from the heat.
1. Cut the tofu into 1/2″ cubes. Place in food processor and with short pulses, process until the tofu resembles teeny tiny beads.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, oregano, paprika, and turmeric.
3. Add the artichoke pieces, thyme, escallion, and oregano mixing thoroughly.
4. Finally add the tofu and mix well. Add a 1/4 cup of water and mix until just combined. Add the other 1/4 cup bit by bit as needed. Batter will be sticky and gooey. Set aside for 15 minutes for ingredients to combine.
5. In the meantime, prepare the frying pan with coconut oil. Be sure to heat to the right frying temperature. I find putting the burner on medium heat works best.
6. Using a tablespoon, spoon a bit of the batter into the frying pan and allow to fry until golden brown on one side then flip over to fry the other side until brown.
Serve while hot! Don’t forget the chutney.
Note: Be careful picking out your pomegranate. Go for one that’s more red on the outside and not brown. Brown means it’s starting to go bad. The darker the seeds are the more flavorful the juice will be.
Be sure to check out the other challengers.