Recipe by Charlie Byrne
Here is something I last posted in 1994 I think. These are easily the best fritters I have ever had, and I have had fritters all over south Florida and the upper and lower keys. PS: I live in Delray Beach now, just a bit below Palm Beach. ---- Finally, here is Charlie's Pompano Beach Conch Fritters recipe. I have refined this over several years, and most people that have tasted these say they are the best around. This makes about 30 fritters I suppose, enough for apps for five or six people.
- 1 cup conch (approx 1/2 lb, usually about 3 pieces of conch)
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium onion (approx 1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove (approx 1 tbs)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons key lime juice, use regular limes if needed (2 approx key limes)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup flour (regular NOT self-rising)
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- milk (on hand just in case)
Directions See How It's Made
- 1 Tbsp thyme 1 Tbsp parsley 1 Tbsp oregano 1 Tbsp celery seed 1 Tbsp habanero sauce (e.g. Melindas) 3/4 Tbsp salt (Not More! At least initially!) 1/2 Tbsp basil 1/2 Tbsp cumin powder 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Pound conch with a rolling pin until it has flattened out (especially the thick and hard "foot"), then dice into small pieces.
- Mix in lime juice and tomato paste with conch in small bowl.
- In separate large bowl, dice pepper, onion and garlic. Mix in spices.
- Mix in conch mixture. Mix in flour, baking powder and eggs.
- The mixture should be fairly thick, if you take spoon of it and turn it upside down it should stick there for a few seconds.
- If too thin, add more flour.
- If too thick, add a little milk.
- You could also substitute a little beer for the milk if you like.rec Get a couple of plates with napkins or paper towels handy, as well as a tablespoon, a teaspoon, a fork, and a metal device for scooping stuff out of hot oil.
- Heat a pot of about 2 inches of cooking oil on medium heat. Stir after a few minutes.
- Oil should be ready after 7 or 8 minutes, don't heat too fast or oil and fritters will burn.
- Scoop up 1 tablespoon of fritter mixture, scrape it into oil with teaspoon.
- Let cook for about 2 minutes, then roll it over with fork (they float) and let cook on other side for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Scoop out with scooper and let drain on napkin plate. Let cool a bit and then taste. Carefully adjust seasonings in remainder of batter to taste. Repeat this procedure of making one fritter until you have the spices just right. The recipe may seem like a lot of spices, but they lose their strength when mixed with all that stuff and cooked.
- Serve with lemon or lime wedges, some more habenero sauce, and plenty of cold beverages.
- And be careful with that hot oil. Excessive alcohol consumption and playing around with hot oil definitely do NOT mix.
- Enjoy! PS: If you don't want to make these fritters but you are in Florida, the best that I HAVE found in a re staurant are at the Calpyso Restaurant and Raw Bar in Pompano.
- (I have no connection other than I have been a good customer there since 1990 and I think the owners are great folks). Charlie Byrne * Delray Beach, FL *.