Tuna fritters: A taste of the Caribbean, with an Italian twist
This month, my family and I traveled to one of our favorite island escapes: the sweet little paradise known as St. John. The water sparkles and the sand warms your toes while the cocktails warm your stomach.
Better yet is the fresh catch of the day. Tuna, grouper and lobster are just a few varieties of local seafood abundant in the British Virgin Islands. In the spirit of the Caribbean — and of the Batali clan's happy place — I'm frying up some fish with an Italian twist: Tuna and Ricotta Fritters.
This recipe is great for the kitchen novice, because it involves the most basic technique in cooking. The rule for breading before frying is an essential one I use time and time again. “The Chew” viewers have heard me refer to it as “FEB” (meaning flour, egg, bread crumbs). Simply dredge in that order, then hit the heat.
Place flour in a shallow bowl, lightly beat egg whites in another bowl, and, finally, put the bread crumbs in a third bowl. In this case, I add parsley to my bread crumbs, but regardless of the added ingredient, the order in which to dredge remains tried-and-true.
Working in batches, dredge the tuna balls in the flour, then dip in the egg whites, letting the excess run off, and dredge in the bread crumbs. It's as simple as FEB!
I'm not the biggest advocate of combining seafood and fruit, with the exception of an acidic citrus. So, when I serve these fritters as more than just an antipasto, I accompany them with a fresh beet or tomato salad served raw with a simple dressing. Make my Tuna and Ricotta Fritters in the middle of this harsh winter, and you'll be transported to warm-weather bliss. A hint of Bob Marley on the side is highly recommended.
Mario Batali is the award-winning chef behind 24 restaurants including Eataly, DelPosto, and his flagship Greenwich Village enoteca, Babbo.
Polpette di Tonno e Ricotta (Tuna and Ricotta Fritters)
After you have fried these and they have cooled, you could reheat them in a light, simple tomato sauce and serve them with a little spaghetti — kind of like a tuna meatball.
Water, for boiling
2 pounds russet potatoes
2 cans (6 to 7 ounces each) Italian tuna packed in olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta, drained for an hour in a sieve lined with cheesecloth
1 bunch marjoram, leaves only
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 large eggs, separated
3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, for deep-frying
1 cup flour
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
In a large pot, bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they are easily pierced with the point of a paring knife, for about 25 minutes; drain.
Peel the potatoes and, while they are still warm, pass them through a food mill into a large bowl. Immediately add the tuna, ricotta, marjoram and salt and pepper to taste. Add the egg yolks and mix well to combine.
Using tablespoons, or your moistened hands, form the mixture into golf-ball-size balls and set them on a baking sheet.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 370 degrees. Meanwhile, place the flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat the egg whites in another bowl. Mix the bread crumbs and parsley in a third bowl. Working in batches, dredge the tuna balls in the flour, then dip them in the egg whites, letting the excess run off, and dredge in the bread crumbs.
Carefully drop the balls into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, for about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle the fritters with lemon zest and serve hot.
Makes 6 servings.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Pirates lose on late Cardinals rally
- Steelers receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Democratic gubernatorial nominee in spotlight at Labor Day Parade
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- East Allegheny teachers set to strike on Tuesday
- FBI investigates celebrities’ nude photo claims
- NFL notebook: Rams leave Sam off practice squad
- Steelers know fast start could be key to upcoming season
- Afghan power-sharing deal breaks down