I have to say, this recipe scared the bejesus out of me. I think it was the idea of heating copious amounts of oil. Or maybe it was the ridiculous proximity between my stove and the fire alarm. (I would like to have words with whoever designed the kitchens in my apartment building.) At any rate, I made my friend Mike come over in the middle of the afternoon to provide moral support. I'm not sure how much good either one of us would have been if I'd actually set the apartment on fire, but I digress. In the end, I used less oil than I'd originally planned, and all was well. I think the cayenne provides a pleasant heat, and the celery softens slightly, but retains a satisfying crunch. —Cristina Sciarra
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, the panko breadcrumbs, the baking powder, the sugar, the cayenne and the sea salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk, whisking until combined. Add the apple cider vinegar.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients. At the last minute, add the chopped celery.
In a Dutch oven, heat ½ an inch of oil until it is quite hot, but not smoking. (You can test this by putting a little batter in the pan--if it starts bubbling gently, you are good to go.)
Use a melon scooper to make little balls with the dough (they will flatten out once you drop them in the oil). Cook each fritter for about 1.5-2 minutes, or until they are golden, flipping them once of twice.
Remove to a paper towel. Serve immediately with the herbed sauce.
Make the herbed sauce: In a small bowl, mix the sour cream with the Greek yogurt. Add the chopped herbs, the celery leaves and the lemon juice.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.