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Conch Fritters with Caribbean Dipping Sauce

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This recipe features conch, a national food of the Bahamas that is the perfect way to start any festive feast. This is an island favorite, served with a tangy Carribean dressing, is sure to please anyone craving a crunchy, savory treat.

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Ingredients

  • FRITTERS:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup firm-packed ground conch or shrimp
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • dash Tabasco to taste
  • canola oil for frying
  • CARIBBEAN DIPPING SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Details

Servings 24
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 80mins

Preparation

Step 1

FRITTERS:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

In another bowl, combine the ground conch, green and red peppers, onions and garlic, making sure the conch is well distributed. Add the conch mixture to the flour mixture.

Without cleaning the conch bowl, use it to whisk together the milk, egg, lime juice, and Tabasco. Add to the conch mixture, stirring until everything is well mixed. Cover and refrigerate up to an hour so the batter firms a bit.

When ready to finish, heat about 1/4-inch oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place about a heaping tablespoon conch batter for each fritter carefully into the skillet, without crowding. This may have to be done in batches. Press down very lightly on each portion of batter to flatten. The fritters will spread slightly.

Cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side or until nicely browned and cooked through. Transfer to paper towels to drain. You may want to keep the fritters warm in a 200°F oven while you cook all the batter to keep them warm, but this is optional.

To serve, place six fritters on each of four warm dishes. Place about 6 tablespoons dipping sauce in four small bowls. Serve one with each serving.

CARIBBEAN DIPPING SAUCE:
In a blender, puree the salsa. Place in a nonreactive bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well. Cover and refrigerate several hours. Stir before serving. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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