Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!
I really like a good conch fritter, but I feel like when you order them at a restaurant, they’re hit or miss. Sometimes they’re just a hard little ball of deep fried dough, other times the conch is hard and chewy, but when they’re done right, they’re tender and flavorful and oh so good – and they’re probably not nearly as hard to make at home as you think!
(The hardest part is getting conch, and while most recipes will tell you to use fresh, I’ve never had a problem using frozen.)
3/4 to 1 pound conch meat (fresh or defrosted)
1/2 bell pepper
1 large shallot
1-2 ribs celery
6 cloves garlic
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup eggs, beaten (2 large eggs will usually do)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon Old Bay
a pinch of baking powder (1/4 to 1/2 tsp)
garlic salt to taste
peanut oil for frying (or oil of choice)
Key Lime Dipping Sauce:
(optional) crème of coconut
Finely chop the bell pepper, shallot and celery. Peel garlic and get the rest of your ingredients ready to go.
Beat the conch on both sides with the business end of a meat mallet. Dice into 1/4 inch pieces, then chop in a food processor for a few seconds.
Mix flour, milk, beaten eggs and melted butter together. Add baking powder, Old Bay and garlic salt, stirring until well mixed.
Add bell pepper, shallots, celery, crushed garlic and conch. Mix well with a fork, making sure to break up any clumps of conch.
Heat oil over medium high heat to about 350 degrees. If you don’t have a way to measure the temperature, slowly increase heat until the oil sizzles but not spits when you add a drop of water.
I like the fritters to take their own shape, kind of like alien sea creatures, so I use a fork to push a small spoonful off the spoon into the oil. Work in small batches, making sure to not overcrowd the fritters. When they turn a nice golden brown, remove with a metal slotted spoon and set on a baking sheet lined with a couple layers of paper towels to dry.
To make the dipping sauce, juice half a lime and add mayonnaise a little at a time until it reaches a nice consistency (it doesn’t taste like mayonnaise at all when you’re done). Bonus points for adding a touch of cream of coconut (you can find it in a squeeze bottle and it makes the BEST at home Pina Coladas!)
Serve with lime wedges. Cilantro makes the best garnish if you want to get fancy.
If you try it, please let me know how you like it!
Check back next Friday for more Foodie Flavors!