Fritto Misto

Mixed Fry-Up

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Any variation of ingredients, in any quantity and in any combination, is perfectly acceptable for the classic Campanian dish fritto misto, but it’s essential to have a range of different ingredients, and they should be as fresh as possible. This recipe uses a mixture of small fish, sliced vegetables and chunks of Italian cheeses, deep-fried in a simple batter. You will need either two deep-fryers or a large pan and a wok to cook this selection, and it is a good idea to make sure that your kitchen is well aired while you work.

Ingredients

  • 675 g/1 ½ lb small fish (such as whitebait) mixed with large raw prawns/shrimp
  • 1 kg/2 ¼ lb mixed vegetables, such as globe artichokes, very firm tomatoes, bell peppers, courgettes/zucchini and fennel, cut into even pieces about 4-6cm/1 ½-2 ½in
  • 6 basil sprigs
  • 6 sage sprigs
  • 150 g/5 oz mozzarella, cut into even chunks
  • 150 g/5 oz firm ricotta cheese, cut into even chunks
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • sea salt
  • 4 lemons cut into wedges, to serve

For the Batter

  • 5 eggs
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup plain/all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 750 ml/1 ¼ pints/3 cups milk

Method

  1. To make the batter, beat the eggs in a large bowl with a balloon whisk until well blended and smooth. Gradually add the flour and salt, beating constantly, then gradually pour in the milk, still beating. When you have a completely smooth batter, leave it to stand until required.

  2. Make sure that all of the ingredients for deep frying (the fish, vegetables, herbs and cheese) are as dry as possible by patting them with kitchen paper if necessary.

  3. Divide the batter equally into three large bowls. Put the fish into one, the vegetables into another and the herbs and cheese in the third. Submerge all of the ingredients in the batter and leave them to stand for about 30 minutes.

  4. Pour the oil into two deep-fryers, deep pans or a pan and a wok. Lay out several layers of kitchen paper on to a large serving platter and place the platter over a large pan of simmering water to keep everything warm once cooked without allowing the food to go soggy.

  5. Heat the oil until a small cube of bread, dropped into the oil, sizzles instantly. The fish will be deep- fried in one pan, and all the other ingredients will be deep-fried in the second pan.
  6. Quickly deep-fry the battered ingredients by lowering them into the oil, in batches, turning them over in the oil after about 2 minutes and lifting them out with a slotted spoon as soon as they are golden and crisp. It is best to work quickly, in small batches to keep the oil at maximum heat, so that everything can cook as fast as possible.
  7. Transfer the ingredients directly to the kitchen paper to drain, and sprinkle with a little salt.
  8. Serve immediately on a warm platter with the lemon wedges for squeezing over.