- 4 ounces salt cod
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup diced Spanish onion
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 eggs
- Essence, for seasoning, recipe follows
- Spicy Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped cod and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Drain any excess liquid and discard liquid. Place cod-onion mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed 2 1/2-quart saucepan, combine the water, remaining 1/4 cup butter, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour, all at once, to the pan and quickly stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour into the liquid. Return the pan to the stove, and over a medium-low heat, continue to cook and stir the dough over the fire. Do this until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from the heat and cool dough to 140 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
Pour the vegetable oil into a heavy stockpot or deep fryer to a depth of 3 inches. Preheat oil to 360 degrees F.
Add 1 egg to the dough mixture and beat well with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated. Continue adding the remaining eggs, 1 at a time, waiting until each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg. Stir the cod mixture into the dough.
Spoon tablespoon-sized balls of dough into the preheated oil. Fry until cooked through and golden brown, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, remove fritters from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Season generously with the Essence and serve hot with Spicy Tomato Sauce.
Spicy Tomato Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup chopped onions
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, and black pepper and saute until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaf, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the basil and oregano the last 5 minutes of simmering.
Remove from the heat, remove and discard the bay leaf, and pulse the mixture in a food processor or blender until pureed but still slightly chunky. Serve immediately or store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Emeril's Creole Seasoning (Essence):
- 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 leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, Published by William and Morrow, 1993.