"Simple and very good, these morsels are ideal for enjoying with a glass of raki, as a starter or appetiser, or as part of a crowd of mezze." ~ Pomme Larmoyer.
100 g (31/2 oz/2/3 cup) self-raising flour
150 ml (5 fl oz) beer
Oil for deep-frying (such as olive oil or peanut/groundnut oil)
200 g (7 oz) shelled mussels (if using frozen mussels, drop them into a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes first)
100 g (31/2 oz/2/3 cup) pine nuts and/or walnuts, ground in a food processor
Red wine vinegar
3 sandwich bread slices, crusts removed, soaked in water and gently squeezed dry
2 garlic cloves
Combine the flour and beer to make a batter, and season with salt.
Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a small heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown within 15 seconds. Using a long, thin skewer, dip the mussels into the batter one by one, and deep-fry in the hot oil for 2 minutes, or just as long as it takes the batter to become golden brown all over. Leave to drain on a plate lined with paper towel; keep warm.
Grind the nuts using a mortar and pestle, or in a food processor. Mix with a little vinegar in a small bowl, then add the soaked bread. Whisk to combine. Crush the garlic with a little salt, and add to the sauce. Continue whisking, adding a little more vinegar if needed, until you have a sauce that is the consistency of mayonnaise. Serve the fritters warm, with the bread sauce for dipping.
Credits: Images and recipes from Istanbul Cult Recipes by Pomme Larmoyer (Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99).
Photo Credits: Images and recipes from Istanbul Cult Recipes by Pomme Larmoyer (Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99).