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Faustina's summer fritters



For 45 years, my family had a wonderful housekeeper Faustina Camilleri in the Villa in Zejtun where we lived. She did just about everything needed to keep that house going. Cleaned, cooked, watered the garden, and even extended invitations to overseas visitors whose calls she answered , “Come for Christmas” she would say, not that two more guests would make a difference to the thirty odd guests we had on Christmas day!

My best memories of her were cooking fritters for lunch. The smell of them frying would waft through the house and garden making our mouths water in anticipation. Here I have the best of the best. They must be prepared, fried and eaten in quick succession to be enjoyed to the full. They may accompany meat of fish or just be enjoyed on their own. The oil they fry in must be perfectly clean, and most of all very hot so the fritters fry well but do not keep the oil clinging to them.


FRITTURI TAL-MAKKU JEW NEMUSA



Serves 6


FRESH OR FROZEN

Use small whitebait or transparent goby, known as neonati. Use fresh or frozen


Ingredients

• 500g small whitebait or neonati

• 2 eggs, separated

• 1 garlic, peeled and crushed

• Fresh chopped parsley

• Salt and pepper

• Oil for frying


Method


1. Beat the egg whites till stiff.

2. Beat the yolk separately, and then put them together and beat further.

3. Rinse the fish and then drain on kitchen paper.

4. Add the garlic, parsley and salt and pepper to the beaten eggs, mix in the fish and stir well.

5. Heat the oil in a pan till sizzling, and with a large tbsp take a good amount of the fish/egg mixture and fry in batches till a deep golden colour.

6. Take out of the oil with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper keeping warm while you cook another batch.

7. Serve with lemon wedges.


FRITTURI TAL-MOHH



Serves 6


These may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for those who enjoyed them when young, these are something those people dream of tasting again!


Ingredients


• 3 brains

• 2 eggs

• 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

• 1 clove of garlic, crushed

• 1 tbsp plain flour

• Dash of malt vinegar

• Salt and pepper

• Oil for shallow frying


Method


1. Soak the brains in cold salted water peeling off the membranes, and discarding any small bits of bone that they may still have.

2. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add a dash of vinegar and a good pinch of salt.

3. Boil brains for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. When cool, cut into large pieces.

4. Separate the eggs and beat the white and then the yolks separately and then together.

5. Add the chopped parsley, the crushed garlic, a tbsp of plain flour and salt and pepper.

6. Heat the oil till sizzling, adding large spoonfuls of the brain and egg mixture.

7. Fry till golden brown, put onto kitchen paper then serve with wedges of lemon, and maybe some fried potatoes.


NOTE:

MALTESE FRIED POTATOES

Peel, dice and shallow fry in garlic and parsley until golden brown.


FRITTURI TAL-PASTARD



Serves 6


Ingredients


• 1 small cauliflower, cut up into florets

• 2 eggs, separated

• Parsley, chopped

• Salt and pepper

• Some plain flour

• 1 clove garlic, crushed

• Oil for frying


Method


1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the cauliflower florets, and boil till just tender, then plunge into iced water, drain and set aside.

2. Beat the whites of the eggs separately from the yolks then beat them together. Add salt and pepper, parsley and crushed garlic.

3. Coat the cauliflower florets in seasoned flour, dip into the egg mixture and shallow fry till golden brown. Serve at once with any fish/meat, or just enjoy them on their own.


FRITTURI TAL-BRUNGIEL



Serves 6


Ingredients


• 1kg aubergine – 1 large or 2 small

• 1 medium sized onion

• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 100g fresh breadcrumbs

• Chopped parsley, with some extra for garnish

• 1 egg, beaten

• 50g Parmesan cheese, grated

• 40g plain flour

• Oil for shallow frying

• 2 lemons, cut into quarters


Method


1. Heat oven to 200°C, and place the whole aubergines and unpeeled onion on a baking tray, in the oven. Bake them till they are very soft.

2. Allow them to cool a little, then peel them.

3. Cut each aubergine into four pieces, and place them in a colander. Then press down on them to squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop the onion finely.

4. Into a large bowl, put the aubergine pulp, the chopped onion and garlic, breadcrumbs, and parsley.

5. Add the egg, cheese and flour and mix it all together thoroughly.

6. Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying-pan and then fry dollops (about two tbsp each) of the mixture, turning them over at regular intervals. They should be well browned.

7. After taking them out of the pan, place them on absorbent paper. They should be served warm, with a scattering of parsley, and some pieces of lemon for squeezing.


NOTE

EAT ALONE OR AS AN ACCOMPANIMENT

These can be eaten alone, but they are excellent served with meat or fish cooked on the barbecue


SFINEC TAL-BAKKALJAW



NOTE:

You need to begin this recipe a day ahead


Serves 6


Ingredients

• 500g salt cod (soaked in 4 changes of cold water for 24 hours, drained and cut into three pieces)

• 500ml milk

• 2 fresh bay leaves

• 80ml extra-virgin olive oil

• 75g plain flour (sifted)

• ½ lemon, zest only, finely grated

• ½ tsp ground cumin

• 3 eggs

• Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Mojo Verde

• 185ml extra-virgin olive oil

• 3 green habanero chillis, seeds removed, finely chopped

• 2 spring onions, white part only, finely chopped

• 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 1 tsp white wine vinegar

• ¼ tsp ground cumin

• ¼ tsp ground coriander

Method

1. Bring milk and bay leaves to a simmer in a pan over low-medium heat.

2. Add cod and cook until tender (8-10 mins.)

3. Drain, discard bay leaves and milk, then flake cod, discarding bones.

4. Process in a food processor until finely shredded and set aside.

5. Bring olive oil and 200ml water to the boil in a pan. Add flour, lemon rind and cumin and stir over high heat until thick and smooth (1-2 mins).

6. Remove from heat, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

7. Add salt cod, mix to combine and set aside.

8. To make the mojo verde, combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until required.

9. Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 190°C.

10. Form salt cod mixture into quenelles using 2 dessert spoons and fry in batches until golden (8-10 mins).

11. Serve with mojo verde.


RICOTTA FRITTERS



Serves 4


This recipe isn’t traditionally Maltese, but excellent made with local ricotta


Ingredients

• 250g ricotta

• 2 eggs, lightly beaten

• 1 tbsp sugar

• 2 tsp grated lemon rind

• 75g plain flour

• 30g soft butter

• Vegetable oil, for shallow frying

• ¼ cup Maltese honey

Method

1. Whisk cheese, eggs, sugar and rind in medium bowl till combined.

2. Whisk in sifted flour and butter, cover, allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

3. Drop tablespoons of the mixture into hot oil, shallow fry, turning occasionally, a few minutes or until fritters are lightly browned and cooked through.

4. Serve immediately, drizzled with honey.


CAUTION

Do not have oil too hot or fritters will over-brown before cooking through.







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