Brioche from Vendee - Chef Recipe by Gabriel Gate
"As with many cakes, this special treat of Brioche Vendéenne is usually bought at the local pâtis...
"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).