Spanish Chickpea Fritters with Octopus, Onion, Potato and Chorizo

By • March 1, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Hundreds of years ago, chickpea flour was brought by Arab traders to Europe, where it was used to create a few regional specialties (like socca in Southern France.) In these fritters, I have combined Spanish elements of octopus, chorizo and pimenton with Indian spices and besan (Hindi for chickpea flour) to create what are essentially Spanish Pakoras! Octopus has a mild clean flavor like calamari ,but with a meatier texture.
I guarantee that these will fly off your platter! I don't find the aioli necessary but it does add another flavor dimension.
LE BEC FIN

Makes about 30-40 fritters

Ingredients for Octopus preparation and Fritter batter

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced garlic
  • 4+ ounces canned octopus, chopped as needed into 1/3 inch pieces(Goya is fine for this use)
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoons pimenton dulce
  • 2 cups Besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 tablespoons Cumin , Toasted and ground to powder
  • 4 teaspoons Coriander, toasted and ground to powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pimenton Dulce
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons Cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons kosher Salt
  • 1- 1 1/4 cups Clam Juice(and/or water)
  • 3 ounces Octopus from above
  • 1 1/2 ounces Spanish dry chorizo, chopped in 1/4” cubes
  • 1.5-2 ounces Yellow onion,peeled and cut into 1/3 ” cubes
  • 3 tablespoons Chopped cilantro, optional
  • 2-3 squeezes lemon juice
  • Canola Oil enough for 3 inch depth in your pot
  1. Prepare octopus:In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, turn the heat to medium low,stirring continually for 1 minute. Add the octopus, coat with pimenton , increase the heat to medium high and stir to sear and cook a few minutes. Let cool a few minutes. .
  2. Prepare batter : Whisk together Besan through clam juice until forms pancake- like batter. Add octopus through lemon juice. Let sit at least a few minutes; can be prepared 1-2 hours ahead of use.*
  3. Fry: Heat canola oil to 375 degrees. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and a soup spoon, scoop up about 1/8 c. of batter. Holding it above the oil, quickly scoop it out into the oil with a second spoon. Repeat to fill the pot, but do not crowd the fritters. Fry about 5 minutes til medium brown, turning over after a few minutes.
  4. Fry, cool and taste a sample fritter. Adjust seasoning and continue frying. Drain on thick newspapers topped with layer of double paper towels.
  5. * Leftover batter can be refrigerated and used the next day at room temperature, but batter may get watery. If so, add besan to thicken, and let sit a few minutes before frying.
  6. Ingredients Note: I prefer La verde Pimenton dulce and Palacio Spanish chorizo (they make a mild and a spicy; I prefer mild for this use.)
  7. Frying Note: It is important to only fry in clean oil. I recommend changing your oil after one time of this recipe. Keep scooping debris from bottom of pot.If the debris 'evades scooping', you may need to filter the oil through a sieve.

Saffron Lemon Aioli (adapted from the NYTimes )- optional dipping sauce

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons mild olive oil
  • Pinch saffron threads covered with 1 teaspoon hot water, cooled
  • 1-2 squeezes of fresh lemon juice
  1. In a mini processor, place the yolks and garlic and salt and buzz to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil through the top, until mixture is thick. Add saffron and its water, salt, and the lemon juice. Buzz, taste, add more salt or lemon as needed.
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