Caribbean Conch Fritters with Cilantro Tartar Sauce

Total Time:
29 min
Prep:
15 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
4 min

Yield:
6 first-course servings; 2 dozen fritters
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 pound cleaned conch, sliced
  • 2 limes
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • Essence, for garnishing
  • 1 recipe Cilantro Tartar Sauce, recipe follows
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Directions

Place the conch slices in a nonreactive bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the slices. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then drain and finely chop the conch meat. Set aside.

Heat a deep-fryer filled with oil to 330 degrees F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, conch, and onion. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. In a third bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the conch mixture.

When ready to fry the fritters, drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and floating on the surface of the oil, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper-lined plates to drain briefly before serving. Sprinkle lightly with Essence and serve with the Cilantro Tartar Sauce.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William Morrow, 1993.

Cilantro Tartar Sauce:

1 egg*

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons chopped red onions

1 cup vegetable oil

Salt

Hot sauce

Put the egg, mustard, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and red onions in a food processor and puree for 15 seconds. With the processor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Season with salt and hot sauce and pulse once or twice to blend. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator before using. Best if used within 24 hours.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups

*RAW EGG WARNING

Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.


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