Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crispeddi Semolina flour fritters

Crispeddi Semolina flour fritters
Serves 6–8
2 small cakes (0.6oz each) fresh yeast
1 cup hot water (about 110°F/43°C)
4–5½ cups semolina flour
¾ cup fresh ricotta
4 salt-packed anchovies, chopped
1 tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed, drained,
squeezed dry, and chopped
1 tsp chopped fennel fronds or
½ tsp crushed fennel seeds
pinch of sea salt
pinch of sugar
light olive oil for deep frying
freshly ground black pepper
Mix the yeast with a little of the hot water to make a paste. Put the semolina flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, add the yeast paste and the  remaining hot water, and whisk to make a batter. Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 2 hours, as you would with bread dough.
Mix the ricotta with the anchovy and capers. Add lots of black pepper and
the fennel, salt, and sugar. Roll the ricotta mixture into balls about 1⁄4in (2cm)
in diameter. Use a little oil on your hands so that they do not stick. Heat the oil in
a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Dip the balls into the batter and, using a
spoon, drop very gently into the pan to avoid splattering. Cook for 4–5 minutes
or until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and serve at once.
Panelle (chickpea fritters) This much-loved snack is often served sandwiched
in a ciabatta roll. It is best eaten piping hot and fresh from the oven. Mix 3¾ cups
chickpea flour with a pinch of salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, and 5½ cups water in a heavy
saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon,
to prevent the mixture from sticking. Continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until the
mixture starts to pull away from the edges. Season with salt and black pepper.
Line a bread pan with plastic wrap. Pour the batter into the pan, and cover the
surface with another layer of plastic wrap. Let sit until firm, at least 2 hours.
Heat a baking sheet in the oven at 400°F (200°C). Turn out the loaf onto a work
surface and cut into thin slices. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and
add a splash of olive oil. Place the slices on the tray, and return to the oven.
Check after 4 minutes and, when the slices are golden brown, turn over to brown
on the other side. Serve at once with freshly grated Parmesan, coarsely chopped
flat-leaf parsley, some lemon wedges, and a few grindings of black pepper.

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