Maybe it’s just our family, but it seems like there is an awful lull in the early afternoon on Christmas day between breakfast and our big holiday dinner. We start very early on Christmas mornings (which I love) and have a casual brunch a couple of hours into our day. Then we
eat all of our Christmas chocolate fast until our huge Christmas feast. Although I definitely would not say that I am “hungry” on Christmas day, there is a need for a mid-afternoon refresher. This year we have family in from South Africa and my mother has been saving her favorite cheeses here and there to share with her sister and her family. We put together an impromptu cheese board to sample everything on Christmas, and I added these baked fritters to the mix. I think they are just enough to tide you over until the beautiful Christmas dinner is ready, but not so much that you don’t appreciate it when it’s time to sit down.
You will need:
- 2 cups peeled, baked fresh pumpkin or squash (I suggest Kobacha)
- 2 large potatoes, baked and peeled (I microwaved mine to save time)
- 8 oz. package of herb cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup all purpose white flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 large purple onion, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup green onions, diced
- 1 tsp. each hot sauce, sea salt, pepper, paprika, and Cajun seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 375 and grease two cookie sheets.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the pumpkin and potato mixture.
- This is much easier to do when the pumpkin and potatoes are warm.
- I also suggest doing this by hand so there are a few chunks in the finished product. If you prefer smooth, uniform fritters, though, you may use a mixer here.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Because I did this with warm pumpkin and potatoes, I was able to mix everything by hand. The warmth also helps the ingredients combine nicely, especially the cheeses.
- Drop the batter onto baking sheets in cookie-sized scoops (about an inch and a half in diameter).
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese, if desired, during the last five minutes of baking.