Loosely based on an ouzo batter my mother used for bacala fritters, this batter works well with any vegetable (string beans, fresh favas, peppers, cauliflower florets and even sage leaves) as well as with fish, shrimp, or mussels.
Makes 6 meze servings
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup ouzo (see note)
• ½ cup club soda or more, as needed
• 2 pounds zucchini or squash, sliced to about 1/8 inch disks
• Salt to taste (preferably Fleur de Sel)
In a bowl combine the cornstarch, flour, and baking powder. Add ouzo and club soda, whisking to incorporate. It should be just runny. If too thick, add a little more club soda.
Dip a few slices of zucchini in the batter. Remove with tongs and fry in heated oil, turning them as they become a deep golden color, about 1 minute total.
Transfer to a plate lined with two layers of paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
Serve with tzatziki, if you like.
NOTE: Ouzo, Pernod, and Raki are anise-flavored, strong alcoholic drinks. If not available, substitute vodka or grappa, adding a pinch of ground star or green anise to the batter.
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