Shrimp fritters (garnalenkroketjes)


shrimp frittersThere is no way I can leave the market without trying to see if the fishmonger has unpeeled grey shrimp. These are stacked in big bags (if they have them), cooked on the fishing boat that takes them in. These grey shrimp are more tasty than the other shrimp varieties, and while I have them with mayonaise often, this is the ultimate way of enjoying them.

Buy 300 grams of grey shrimp with the skins on. Go home to peel them, this might take 20 mins. Set shrimp aside. Don’t throw away the peels yet; these go into some olive oil in a saute pan to be sauteed with some chopped garlic and half a teaspoon of tomato paste. They are then drowned in a glass of white wine (Noilly Prat or what you like), plus a glas of water. If you feel nerdy: take out the whole bunch to whizz in food processor to mash them finer, so when you put those peels back into the pan they will shed the maximum amount of shrimp-juice. After bubbling for 5 minutes, strain through a fine sieve, leaving you a beautifully colored orange shrimp stock.

Now make a thick white sauce (bechamel or roux) with three large spoonfuls of butter, 5 to 6 spoonfuls of white flour, thickened with milk and your strained shrimp stock. If you omitted this step with shrimp peels and food processor and everything: don’t worry, your end result will still taste very good. Mix until you have a very thick sauce. Season with salt, pepper and some nutmeg. I added some freshly chopped tarragon too, because it is my favorite combination with shrimp. Pour the mixture onto a plate and leave to set. Then put in the fridge for at least 1 hour to stiffen.

Form the mixture into sausage shaped rolls. If needed, set in fridge again. However, you can continue with the next step.
Mix 2 egg yolks in a bowl. In another bowl, put breadcrumbs (I used the Japanese panko breadcrumbs). Now coat the shrimp rolls with egg yolk, and then with breadcrumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.

Heat sunflower oil (or other good frying oil) in a small wok. When hot enough (test with piece of bread: it should start sizzling and frying), add 4 to 5 shrimp fritters. Fry on medium heat until golden brown, then get rid of the frying oil by draining on kitchen paper. Serve with lemon wedges and a sharp mustard or great mayonaise of your choice, as a starter or snack. Dutch like to eat it on rye. For lunch!

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