Four tiny seafood fritters

by Laurie Black | Cuisine issue #76
Serves: 4Serve the mixed hot fritters on platters along with a small bowl each of grapefruit mayonnaise and chilli tomato relish.

So that you’re not trapped in the kitchen for too long while everyone else enjoys the cocktail hour, set up bowls of batter ingredients earlier on, adding only the seafood and liquid or egg at the last minute before they go into the pan. These recipes together serve 4.

Baby mussel & coriander fritters
8 baby mussels
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1 finely sliced chilli
extra water as required

First, steam open the mussels with the wine in a covered pot. Remove them as soon as they open and reserve the cooking liquid. Remove the mussels from their shells. Mix enough cooking liquid into the flour to make a batter of medium consistency. Stir in the coriander and chilli, then dunk the mussels in to coat them well with batter.

Shallow-fry them, turning once, until golden brown. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve immediately. Makes 8.

Oyster fritters
8 Bluff oysters, or others as in season
1/2 cup self-raising flour
liquor from oyster pottle and extra water as required

Remove oysters from their liquor. Mix enough of the liquor and water into the flour to make a reasonably liquid batter.

Drop 4 of the oysters at a time into the batter then spoon them into a pan of hot oil to shallow-fry them, turning once, until golden brown. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve immediately. Makes 8.

Tuatua & pumpkin fritters
1/2 cup self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1/4 cup grated pumpkin
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup tuatua meat, chopped

Mix everything together except the egg and tuatuas. Mix in enough egg to make a batter of medium consistency, then stir in the tuatuas. Drop dessertspoonfuls of the mix into a pan of hot oil and shallow-fry the fritters, turning once, until golden brown.

Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve immediately. Makes about 8 fritters.

Whitebait fritters
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup whitebait, drained

Whisk the egg, baking powder and salt together with a fork. Immediately stir the whitebait through and drop dessertspoonfuls of the mix into a pan of hot oil and shallow-fry the fritters, turning once, until golden brown. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve immediately. Makes about 8 fritters.

Grapefruit mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup of the most peppery extra virgin olive oil you can find
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
salt

Using the smallest bowl your food processor has (or whisking by hand) blend the yolks together then add the olive oil drop by drop until you have a very stiff mayonnaise.

Add the grapefruit juice and season with salt. Pour into a container and keep refrigerated until needed.

Chilli tomato relish
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced lengthways
2 chillies, finely sliced
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt

Heat the olive oil and gently sauté the garlic, chillies, coriander seeds, bay leaf and black pepper until the garlic is starting to colour.

Stir in the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and simmer for 20 minutes until starting to thicken. Season with salt and cool. Keep refrigerated.

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