Herb Fritters

These small pastry fritters are adapted from a recipe from Central Asia and are ideal for serving with drinks before a meal, or they may be served as a soup accompaniment.

4 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 fl. oz. water, warmed to about

110°F or just above blood heat H oz. butter, melted

2 oz. butter

7 spring onions , chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying

Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour the water and the melted butter into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are mixed. With your hands knead the dough gently until it is smooth and firm. Set aside.

To make the filling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the butter with a wooden spoon until it is soft. Add the spring onions , parsley, chives, marjoram, salt and pepper and beat well to mix. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour or until the herb butter is quite cold and set.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough as thinly as possible into a rectangle. Trim the edges to straighten them. Cut the dough into 21-inch squares.

Remove the herb butter from the refrigerator. With a teaspoon, scoop out tcaspoonfuls of the butter and place one spoonful on each square of dough. Dampen the edges of each square with a little water. Fold the squares to form triangular shapes and gently press the edges together to seal in the filling.

Fill a deep-frying pan with oil and place it over moderately high heat. When the temperature reaches 375 °F on a fat thermometer or when a cube of stale bread dropped into the oil browns in 40 seconds, reduce the heat to moderate. Add the dough parcels, a few at a time and fry them for 2 minutes or until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fritters from the oil and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Keep them warm while you fry the remaining dough parcels in the same way.

When all the fritters are cooked, arrange them on a folded napkin or on a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.