I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

June 29, 2010

Crispy Shrimp Fritters from Cadiz (p. 97) and Lentil and Walnut Salad (p. 80)

I never make nice things for lunch. We're generally not home, or if we are we wake up late and laze about until mid-afternoon. Yesterday, however, I was in a cooking sort of mood and wanted to throw together something fabulous for lunch. And so I did.

Crispy Shrimp Fritters, or Tortillitas de Camarones are surprisingly easy to make. In a bowl, combine eggs and salt with water and beat together to create a creamy mixture. Then add semolina or, if you have it, semolina and chickpea flour. Fresh Market didn't have chickpea flour, so I just used additional semolina. Beat these together to form a batter and then fold in onion, parsley, and cilantro, and shrimp, all chopped coarsely. Stir in olive oil and paprika and make sure the shrimp pieces are evenly distributed.

Separately, heat oil in a frying pan until it has reached about 360 degrees. I decided mine was ready when it was all ripply looking and some steam was coming off the top. Spoon little batches of the batter into the hot oil and cook, flipping once, until the fritters are golden on both sides. Each fritter may need to be patted down a little after being flipped to ensure that it cooks evenly. 

When each fritter is done, remove them from the oil to drain on paper towels. My pan could hold about 4 fritters at a time, and there was enough batter for several batches.

I thought that these would be really nice with a salad, so I chose the Lentil and Walnut Salad to make. I had the lentils cooking over medium low for about 20 minutes while I was making the fritter batter. Once the lentils were cooked, I drained them and combined them in a bowl with chopped scallion and parsley, diced red pepper, and chopped walnuts.

Mix these all well, and then add a dressing made of mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Stir these up in a separate bowl until well combined and then mix thoroughly with the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop the lentils onto a bed of bitter greens and serve.

This was pretty much the perfect summer lunch time meal. Even though the shrimp fritters are fried they still manage to feel light and flavorful, and the dressing on the lentils gives it a great kick. I'd never thought of serving lentils on top of greens before, but they really combined well. I'd make this exact same meal again in a heart beat.

shrimp -- $7.83
parsley -- $1.69 (tons left)
cilantro -- $1.69 (tons left)
Total Cost of Crispy Shrimp Fritters from Cadiz: $11.21 
(I only made half the recipe, and we each had two fritters for lunch. There are probably about 8 left. This would be a great party appetizer to make really small ones, since it makes a lot.)

scallions -- $.99 (tons left)
red pepper -- $1.64 (only used half)
mixed greens -- $2.50
Total Cost of Lentil and Walnut Salad: $5.13
(I made half of this recipe as well and we probably have three servings left over.)

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.