Salt Cod Fritters (Accras de Morue)
These wonderful fritters are the staple appetizer of Guadeloupe and Martinique. They are addictive and can be seasoned in a variety of ways: thyme and allspice are standard.
• 1 pound salt cod (soaked overnight in several changes of water)
• 1 small jalapeño or habanero pepper, seeded, deveined and minced, or cayenne pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
• 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
• 2 scallions, minced
• 1 T minced fresh parsley
• 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 large egg
• 2/3 c milk, more or less
• 2 T chopped tomato
• 2 T chopped cilantro
• vegetable oil for deep frying
• lime wedges
Boil and cool the salt cod (about 15–20 minutes), then chop it finely and mix it with the pepper, thyme, allspice, parsley and scallions.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Lightly beat the egg with 1/2 c of the milk and pour them into the flour. Stir until well blended. The batter should be pretty stiff, but if it seems a bit dry, add the remaining milk. Add to the cod mixture.
Heat 2–3 inches of oil to about 375°F (or test with a little piece of bread—it will sink, rise and begin to bubble). Fry the batter by the tablespoon, a few fritters at a time (too many will cool the oil and make them greasy). Turn them once and fry until they are golden. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately (or keep warm in the oven). Serve with lime wedges.
Cooking time: about 40 minutes using soaked salt cod. Serves 6–8