You can't get fresh conch in the states, but find a reputable fishmonger and they can usually get some fresh-frozen conch. It works equally as well in these delicious fritters!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 1hour
1/2scotch bonnet(habanero), or jalapeno
1/2green bell pepperminced
1/2red bell pepperminced
1 1/2cupall purpose flour
1/4teaspoonfresh cracked black pepper
1/2cupbeer(make it a good one)
LouAna Peanut Oil for frying ~ 6 cups
For the Key Lime Aioli
2tablespoonskey lime juiceor fresh lime juice from a Persian lime
1-2teaspoonsfavorite hot sauce (optional)I used Crystal
1limecut into wedges
favorite hot sauceas desired
Make The Batter
Place the conch on a cutting board or other tough work surface. Use the rough side of a meat mallet to pound the conch to about 1/4" thickness. Use a very sharp chef's knife to mince the conch meat <1/4" dice. Transfer the conch to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse quickly 10-15 times to chop the conch a little finer. Transfer the chopped conch to a large mixing bowl.
Add the scotch bonnet pepper to the bowl of the food processor. (Be careful - the scotch bonnet is an extremely hot pepper. You don't want to handle it with bare hands once it's been cut -- and don't touch your hand to your eyes or face if you do). Divide the celery in half and add one half to the scotch bonnet pepper. Pulse several times until the celery and scotch bonnet are finely minced. Transfer the pepper and celery to the conch.
Mince the remaining half of the celery and add it to the conch along with the onions, bell peppers, eggs and thyme. Stir to combine. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Add the flour mixture to the conch and stir until well combined. Add the beer and club soda and stir until combined and mixture is thick and unctuous.
Make The Aioli
Combine the mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, salt and hot sauce in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and refrigerate.
Fry The Fritters
Heat the LouAna Peanut oil in an electric deep fryer to 350°. Use a .05 ounce scoop to portion the batter (I used a cookie scoop). Gently drop the batter into the hot oil from just above the surface so it doesn't splash. Don't crowd the fryer, otherwise it will affect the oil's temperature. I fried about 7 fritters at a time. When you add the fritters to the oil, they will sink to the bottom of the skillet, then float. Cook the fritters for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the fritters to a paper lined baking sheet.
Continue working in batches to fry the remaining fritters.
Arrange the fritters in a basket or on a platter with the aioli and extra hot sauce on the side. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and tuck lime wedges in and around the fritters. Enjoy with a cold beer!
To make the swirls on the key lime aioli (not necessary, but fun for show), add a few drops of hot sauce to the aioli and drag a toothpick through it.