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Kicked Up Conch Fritters

Swap the beautiful shell for an outside that’s fried golden brown, hush-puppy-style, and you’ve got a Montego Bay, Jamaica delicacy that’s perfect on vacation… and pretty close at home tonight. Shell yeah!

SERVES: 4
TOTAL TIME: 30 Min
DIFFICULTY: 4/5

Ingredients:

Mmm, conch fritters — enough said. Here’s what goes in:a close-up of carnival's conch fritters

  • 2 lbs whole conch
  • 2 oz red onions
  • ¼ lbs medium green peppers
  • ¼ lb medium red peppers
  • ½ lb fresh scotch bonnet peppers
  • 4 oz cilantro
  • ¼ oz oregano
  • 1½ tsp thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime

This is what you’ll need for the garnish:

  • 3 lbs plantains
  • 2 oz cilantro
  • ½ lb leeks

You’ve gotta make a choux paste! (And you’ve gotta pronounce it like “shoe.”) Here’s how:

  • 8 oz water
  • 3 oz gruyere cheese
  • 2 oz butter
  • 4 oz flour
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt to taste

Don’t forget pickapeppa sauce! You can buy some in a bottle, or make your own with this:

  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2 cup dark raisin
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup mango pulp
  • ¼ cup tamarind pulp
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ half cup ginger juice (from pickle ginger)
  • 2 scotch bonnet chili peppers
  • ½ tsp clove powder
  • ½ quart mineral water
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey

Let’s Do This Thing:

Okay, let’s start by making the choux paste:

  1. Add butter to water and boil.
  2. Add flour and mix. Take care not to form lumps.
  3. Remove from heat, season with nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  4. Add the eggs and mix with the gruyere cheese.

Now let’s prepare some conch:

  1. Clean and tenderize the conch.
  2. Marinate with some hand-crushed scotch bonnet peppers, lemon and lime rind, the white part of the scallion, lime juice and crushed cilantro stem. Allow to marinate for two hours.
  3. Dice the conch and chop the onion, red pepper, green pepper and pureed scotch bonnet pepper. Finely chop all the herbs.
  4. Combine all the ingredients with choux paste, finish with cornstarch if necessary. Shape the mixture into small balls and deep fry in medium-hot oil until crisp and golden-brown. (Make sure not to overcook!)

If you’re making the pickapeppa sauce, do it this way:

  1. Say “pickapeppa” a few times. It’s fun, right?
  2. Heat your saucepan and add oil. Lightly sauté the onion and garlic.
  3. Add tomatoes, thyme, scotch bonnet peppers and raisins. Cook for few minutes.
  4. Simmer for an hour, remove from the heat and blend.
  5. Place back on heat, cook further and then strain.