Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Broccoli fritters

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Broccoli fritters

I never liked deep-frying. It always seemed like a huge production. So much oil. Such a mess. Having to clean the stove after it was over. I avoided it for years.

But then there was that day a few years ago when I made onion pakora according to instructions from Rashmi of YumKid. Such sizzle! So crispy! And I remembered: Fried food is downright delicious.

These broccoli fritters are worth the spent oil and the mess. Use leftover cooked broccoli or take a shortcut with frozen chopped broccoli. Either way, you'll be glad you did.

By the way, these broccoli fritters would be perfect for Hanukkah, also known as The Festival of Fried Food. I served them with Not Ketchup, but a lemony aioli would work too.

Note: If you really don't want to deep-fry, use a skillet and form the batter into pancakes, using about 2 Tablespoons of oil in the skillet and 1 Tablespoon of batter for each pancake. 

Broccoli fritters


  • 1 cup all-purpose baking mix (I use Bisquick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • A few dashes hot sauce (I use Tabasco)
  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped (or use 2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, steamed, cooled and chopped)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Oil, for deep-frying (I use grapeseed or canola oil)
  • Not Ketchup, for dipping
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the baking mix, egg, milk, garlic salt, pepper and hot sauce; the batter will be thick. Fold in the broccoli and green onions.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep medium-sized saucepan until the surface shimmers. Using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop about 1 teaspoon of batter into the oil for each fritter. Fry until golden brown; drain on a rack set over a sheet pan or on a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Serve warm with your favorite flavor of Not Ketchup for dipping.
30 minutes | 8 servings

Monday, November 3, 2014

My gift to you: The Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook

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Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe Ebook

I've been experimenting with my Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauces for more than a year now. One of the things I discovered last Thanksgiving and Christmas is that Not Ketchup added a ton of flavor - with very little corresponding work - to my holiday menus.

I've compiled some of my favorite holiday recipes into The Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook, a free ebook that I'm delighted to share with you. It includes six delicious, gorgeous, ultra-simple recipes:

  • Smoky Date Sweet Potato Fritters - light, smoky puffs that work equally well as a pre-meal snack or an unusual side dish
  • Cherry Chipotle Roast Turkey - an easy, flavorful roast turkey lacquered with Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup
  • Spiced Fig Glazed Ham - one spiral-cut ham plus one bottle of Spiced Fig Not Ketchup equals one fantastic centerpiece for your holiday meal
  • Blueberry White Pepper Stuffing Muffins - single-serving cornbread dressing studded with dried blueberries and drizzled with Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • Smoky Date Brussels Sprouts - with bacon, slivered dates, pistachios and Smoky Date Not Ketchup, these are Brussels sprouts even a vegetable hater will adore
  • Cherry Chipotle Turkey Tostadas - leftover turkey turned into a post-holiday lunch

I hope you enjoy this free ebook as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I'm already making notes for next year's edition!

Click here to download the Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Falafel stuffed mushrooms and the joy of unexpected visitors

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Falafel stuffed mushrooms from In Erika's Kitchen

We live in a drop-in house.

I know some people hate drop-in visits. I love them. They remind me of college, four happy years of back-to-back unexpected visitors.

It helps that I'm not embarrassed by the mess that is my house. I assume friends will understand the Not Ketchup chaos. I'll clean up when I'm a millionaire.

This past Saturday morning our friends G and N popped in during their morning walk around the neighborhood. We chatted over coffee and pomegranates until I had to rush out to a meeting. What would I have done with that half-hour had they not stopped by? Nothing as interesting as visiting with them, I'm sure.

My neighbor S comes by with her toddlers, too. The last time they came down to my office, unfortunately, I was on a call and couldn't stop to play. But most of the time I am delighted for a few minutes of kid time.

I feed people when they drop in. These falafel stuffed mushrooms are the perfect snack for drop-in visitors: They're easy, quick, healthy and delicious.

Note: Look for prepared falafel mix in the ethnic section of major grocery stores or in Middle Eastern markets. The recipe states 55 minutes total, but the first half hour is mostly waiting for the falafel mix to be ready to scoop and the rest is baking time, so you have plenty of time to visit with your guests.

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Falafel stuffed mushrooms
This vegan snack is easy, fast, healthy and delicious. Using boxed falafel mix makes preparation even quicker.
  • 1 cup boxed prepared falafel mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 12 large white mushrooms
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tahini (prepared, from the jar; optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.In a small mixing bowl, combine the falafel mix and water. Stir to combine, then let rest at room temperature 30-60 minutes.While the falafel mixture is resting, wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Pat the mushroom caps dry with paper towels.Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into a baking dish and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the mushrooms to the dish and turn them over with your hands, making sure the mushrooms are coated with the oil. Sprinkle the mushroom caps with salt.Using a small spoon, scoop out about 1 Tablespoon of the falafel mixture and mound it into a mushroom cap, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon or your fingers. Repeat with the remaining falafel mixture and mushroom caps. Drizzle the remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil over the tops of the stuffed mushrooms.Bake the mushrooms about 25 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the falafel is cooked through and golden brown on top. Drizzle with the tahini if desired and serve warm.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A giveaway from the Women Food Entrepreneurs

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When I started Not Ketchup at the beginning of this year, I never imagined I would find so many creative, generous people willing to help me on my entrepreneurial journey.

I've been lucky to fall in with a group of other women building natural food businesses. We call ourselves the Women Food Entrepreneurs and we "meet" in a private group on Facebook. Over the past few months we've shared failures and successes, cheered each other on, and (most important) traded practical business information about everything from packaging to vendors to product development to sales.

Keep an eye on us. We are going to be a Very Big Deal.

This week, to celebrate the kids being back in school and the end of summer and the beginning of every food business's incredibly intense holiday season, we're doing a joint giveaway. Enter below for a chance to taste all my fellow Women Food Entrepreneurs' products:

Good luck and thanks for supporting us!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to dress up rotisserie chicken, and big news about Not Ketchup

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Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauce at Sam's Club Fountain Valley with CEO Erika Kerekes
Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup on the floor at Sam's Club - yes, that's right, Sam's Club

I haven't had a lot of time to cook lately, and the photo above is one reason why.

This summer has been all about Not Ketchup, my new food business. While my kids were away at camp, I made cold calls, met with new retailers, spoke at a conference, did store demos, and generally ran around trying to get Not Ketchup into the hands and mouths of food lovers around the country.

Last week marked a big day for Not Ketchup: After half a year of negotiating and paperwork, Sam's Club in Fountain Valley, about 45 minutes south of my home, started selling a two-pack of Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup. I went down there to offer samples to Sam's Club members a few days ago and the response was great, from both customers and the people who work there. I was nervous but the day went really well. And I can't tell you how proud I was to see my product featured in the food section next to brands that have been around for decades.

Rotisserie chicken glazed with Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauce
Store-bought rotisserie chicken gets a glam makeover with a Not Ketchup glaze

Ironically, the more involved I get in building my food business, the less time I spend in the kitchen. One of my favorite shortcuts is to pick up a store-bought rotisserie chicken and glam it up with Not Ketchup. Two minutes of work, 10 minutes in the oven, and you end up with a delicious, juicy bird glazed with a tangy, fruity sauce. Serve a little more Not Ketchup on the side for dipping, throw together a salad or steam some vegetables, and dinner is done.

I promise to get back to a more normal blogging schedule with real recipes soon...someday...well, if I'm being honest, probably not that soon. Que sera, sera. Apologies and thanks for bearing with me.

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Rotisserie Chicken with Not Ketchup
Dress up a store-bought rotisserie chicken by brushing it with any flavor of Not Ketchup fruit "ketchup" sauce. Two minutes of work, 10 minutes in the oven, and dinner is ready.
  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup Not Ketchup sauce, any flavor, plus more for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.Put the rotisserie chicken in a baking dish. Pour the Not Ketchup over the chicken and spread into all the crevices with your hands or the back of a spoon.Warm the chicken in the oven 10-15 minutes, until the Not Ketchup glaze is bubbling and looks glossy and sticky. Take the chicken out of the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately with more Not Ketchup on the side for dipping.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings