Fritto Misto (Mixed Shellfish Fritters) with Salsa Verde
Makes 24 to 30 fritters to serve 8
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup warm beer
1/4 cup water
1 pound clams, scrubbed well
1 pound mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1/4 pound scallops, white muscle on side removed
1/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled
12 oysters, shucked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart corn or peanut oil for deep-frying
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
3 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each fresh oregano, chopped
3 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sift the flour and the salt together in a bowl and make a well in the center. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, olive oil, and beer and pour into the well. Mix together just until mixed. Let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Bring the water to a boil in a frying pan. Add the clams and cover. Cook until the clams open, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately, remove the clams from their shells, and place in a bowl. Discard the shells. Repeat with the mussels, cooking for 3 to 6 minutes. Add the shelled mussels to the clams. Reduce the heat to medium and add the scallops. Cover and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Add the scallops to the clams and mussels. Add the shrimp to the frying pan, cover, and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cut in half. Add to the other shellfish. Season with salt and pepper and reserve in the refrigerator.
To make the salsa verde, mix together the parsley, chives, thyme, oregano, capers, shallots, lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Use within 1 hour.
In a deep saucepan, heat the oil to 375°F. A drop of batter should sizzle when dropped into the oil.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter and fold the batter into the shellfish.
Using a heaping teaspoon of batter, deep-fry a few fritters until they are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan. Drain on paper towels. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with Salsa Verde.