This evening we made Shrimp and Crab Fritters with Chopped Salad and Roasted Red Pepper and Pickle Vinaigrette which started life as a box of pancake mix. To the prepared mixture we added chopped shrimp, crabmeat, scallions, Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce. The fritters were to be fried in 1 1/2″ of hot oil, which gave me the first clue that we weren’t actually making pancakes. I put about 1/2″ of oil in the skillet, as the called for amount seemed ridiculous. We dropped a dollop of the batter into the bubbling oil with an ice cream scoop, and turned them after about 3 minutes when they were turning golden. When the second side was a good colour, we fished the fritters out, set them on paper towels to drain and sprinkled coarse salt on the top.
While the fritters were being fattified, I made the salad dressing. Roasted red peppers, parsley, lemon juice, dill pickle dressing and olive oil were blitzed together in the food processor. I added some water so that the amount of olive oil could be reduced from a bucket to a drizzle. The dressing was poured over chopped Romaine hearts, celery and red onion, the whole lot was tossed together and piled onto a plate. The fritters were served alongside, with the option of malt vinegar or lemon juice to taste.
The salad was good, the lemony-acidic quality of the dressing counteracted the fatty fritters quite nicely; the greens provided a satisfying crunch. The most recently fried fritters were hot and crispy, with a subtle seafood taste. They tasted like an amalgam of many dishes at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet catering exclusively for small town Midwesterners. They were good, but eating more than one was hard work. You could almost feel your arteries hardening as the fritters cooled down and the fat started to congeal. The first-cooked fritters of the batch were however just soggy, greasy and slimy, and totally unappealing. Like many deep fried foods, these were great fresh out of the pan, but as soon as they started to cool down, they lost their appeal and became pretty repulsive.
Whilst this meal was reasonable enough, I think we both feel a bit of fat-induced gluttony which is never a good feeling. Especially when it impinges on my enjoyment of my nightly ice cream rendezvous. The house also stinks of deep fried seafood. Tomorrow we remake the fritters as Veggie Fritters and Asian Salad. As we are getting our condo ready to go on the market, we need to find a way to keep the cooking smells from permeating the whole building. The extractor fan just isn’t coping with the nightly onslaught.