Col's completely original mussel and parsley fritters
"The inspiration for creating this recipe came from my love of a garnish that accompanied my favourite dish- fritto misto- at a small seafood restaurant on Sydney's airport coast. They used to deep-fry full stalks of curly leaf parsley. A flavour explosion quite unlike the flavour of the raw leaf."
- For the fritters:
- 1 kg live green lipped mussels
- 1 large bunch curly leaf parsley
- Zest of 1 lemon- finely grated
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Clarified butter for frying
- For the batter:
- 2 large eggs- at room temperature
- 100mls dark blue top or full cream milk- also at room temperature
- 70g high grade flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Place large pot, with water just sufficent to cover the base, on full heat. When boiling toss in the mussels and cover. Stand over the pot and after a few minutes give a good shake. As soon as the shells are open drain and let cool.
- Remove the flesh, discarding the hard muscle that attaches the flesh to the shell. Chop the flesh reasonably finely. Put aside.
- Very roughly chop the whole bunch along with stalks. Place fry pan on medium heat with clarified butter- about 3 tablespoons- just sufficient to cover base. When oil is hot add parsley. Toss for approx 10 minutes until all moisture is gone from the herb. It will be dark green in colour and crisp in texture. Put aside on paper towel.
- Break eggs into bowl. Add milk and whisk. Add the sifted flour & baking powder. Whisk again until the batter is smooth and velvety. Let stand for at least half an hour.
To assemble and cook:
- Simply take the bowl of batter and add chopped mussels, fried parsley and lemon zest. Season. Combine thoroughly.
- Put a heavy fry pan on medium heat. Add clarified butter sufficient to just cover base. Spoon in the fritter mixture. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden.
- Serve with grilled lemon halves.