Photo by Tara Stevens
Tortillitas de camarones
Every region of Spain has its speciality and although Andalucía often comes under fire for having the worst cooking in the country, it does turn out the occasional gem. These shrimp fritters are a staple of the Atlantic Coast around Cádiz, particularly the town of El Puerto de Santa María, or the Port of Sherry, as it is popularly known. Salty, crunchy, with a whack of sweetness from the prawns, these are among the finest tapas in the land. It goes without saying that served with a snifter of bone-dry fino or manzanilla they make a very good start to any party. My thanks to Rick Stein for kindly letting me recreate his recipe here.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 16)
Recipe taken from Rick Stein’s Spain (2011), courtesy of BBC Books
· 175g raw, peeled prawns
· 175g plain flour
· ½ tsp baking powder
· 300ml water
· 1 tbsp dry white wine
· 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
· 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
· Olive oil for shallow frying
Cut the prawns into ½ cm thick pieces. Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the water and wine. Mix together to make a thick, creamy batter. Fold in the prawns, spring onions and parsley. Pour ½ cm of olive oil into a frying pan and place over a high heat. Leave until a drop of the batter sizzles immediately then, in small batches of 2 to 3 at a time, drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, spreading each one out a little with the back of the spoon to get lovely thin, crispy edges as they cook. Turn the fritters every now and then for about 2 minutes, or until puffed up and golden on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper. Eat immediately.