Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 7: Shrimp and Crab Friiters with Chopped Salad and Roasted Red Pepper and Pickle Vinaigrette

   Vegetable or other light-colored oil, for frying
2 cups complete pancake mix (the "just add water" type)
1/2 pound small cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, chopped
6 ounces lump crab meat, drained and checked for bits of shell
3 scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning or other seafood seasoning blend, available at the fish counter
   Coarse salt

3 tablespoons dill pickle relish
1 whole seeded roasted red pepper, drained
   Juice of 1 lemon
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
3 celery ribs from the heart, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges, or malt vinegar, to pass at the table

Fill a deep, large skillet with about 1 1/2 inches vegetable or other light-colored oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until a 1-inch cube of bread browns to a deep golden color in a count of 40.

In a large bowl, stir together the pancake mix and 1 1/4 cups of water to combine. Then, add the shrimp and break up the crab into little bits as you drop it in. Add the scallions, hot sauce, and seafood seasoning and stir to combine.

Use 2 tablespoons to drop 2-inch fritters into the pan. Cook small batches of fritters, no more than 6 at a time - do not crowd the pan or you will cause the temperature to drop too far, too fast. The fritters should cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side to a deep golden color.

Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and season with salt while they are hot. The recipe should yield 16 to 20 pieces, 4 or 5 fritters per portion, depending on the uniformity of size.

While the fritters are working, place the relish, roasted red pepper, lemon juice, and parsley in a food processor and turn it on. Stream in the EVOO to form the dressing, then stop the processor and season up the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the chopped lettuce with the celery and onions and toss with the vinaigrette. Adjust the seasoning. Arrange the tossed salad on a platter or individual plates. Top the salad with the fritters or serve alongside. Pass lemon wedges or malt vinegar at the table to squeeze or pour over the fritters, if you wish.


We spent the day at the zoo yesterday and had loads of fun. I came home and made these quickly for my family, before I had to run off to the mother/daughter banquet at our church. Needless to say, I was very tired. But this didn't take too long, and it provided the salad I needed to take to the banquet. My family just ate the fritters. This recipe is very good, but I must say, it says it makes 4 servings, but I think it makes way too much for 4 people. The fritters are so greasy, you can't eat more than about 3 or 4 of them (and that's still too much for me). I really liked the salad, but I realized after I tasted it that I had accidentally bought cilantro instead of parsley. I think it made it better, but my Dear Husband wouldn't touch it.

I wish there was a way to make the fritters less greasy; then this meal would be perfect.

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