Fry

Spanish Chickpea Fritters with Octopus, Onion, Potato and Chorizo

March  1, 2012
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
  • 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
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Ingredients for Octopus preparation and Fritter batter
  2. 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. .
  3. 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.*
  4. 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.
  5. Fry, cool and taste a sample fritter. Adjust seasoning and continue frying. Drain on thick newspapers topped with layer of double paper towels.
  6. * 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  1. Saffron Lemon Aioli (adapted from the NYTimes )- optional dipping sauce
  2. 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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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.