Lindsay Kennedy is a man of many tastes, as exemplified by the diversity of the menu at his restaurant and bar, The Village Idiot. As he told us in our two-part interview, Kennedy grew up in Los Angeles, but was born in Atlanta and still has a good deal of affinity for Southern food. Thus, his recipe for pan-fried rock shrimp scallion fritters with grapefruit relish and crème fraiche comes across as the perfect representation of both his culinary skills and sentiments.
He also told us, in that same interview, that he used to work regularly as a food stylist. So this dish was not just invented and cooked by Lindsay Kennedy — he also styled the plate, and took the photo too. Turn the page for the recipe.
Pan-Fried Rock Shrimp Scallion Fritters with Grapefruit Relish and Crème Fraiche
From: Lindsay Kennedy of The Village Idiot
Makes: 12 fritters, or 4 servings
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ cups whole milk
½ cups buttermilk
1 egg yolk
1 ounce clarified butter, melted (or oil)
6 green onions, thinly sliced, green parts only
1 pound Rock shrimp, 70/90 ct., peeled and de-veined
clarified butter or oil for pan frying, enough to coat the bottom
Freshly picked chervil
A dollop of crème fraiche
Grapefruit relish (see below)
1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
2. Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients with a whisk in a bowl.
3. Whisk together the whole milk, buttermilk, and egg yolks.
4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just smooth. Don't over-mix or the fritters will be tough.
5. Whisk in the melted clarified butter until just combined. Again, don't over-mix.
6. Fold the sliced green onion and the rock shrimp into the batter and let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
7. Heat over high heat with enough clarified butter to generously coat the bottom of a non-stick sauté pan. The butter should be very hot, almost smoking in the pan, when you add the fritters in small soup spoon-sized nuggets. It's best to work in small batches, and work quickly; otherwise the fritters may burn before you can flip all of them over in the pan. Keep them small and imperfectly shaped, with scraggly edges and lots of nooks and crannies for the butter to get in to and crisp up.
8. Spoon out small soup-spoon size dollops of batter and pan-fry on one side until golden brown and crispy around the edges. Turn the fritters over only once and pan-fry on the other side.
(Note: if your fritters are on the larger side you may need to finish the fritters in an 400° oven for about 6-7 minutes, or until cooked through.)
9. Serve the fritters three to a plate with grapefruit relish (see sub-recipe below), a dollop of crème fraiche, and freshly picked chervil to garnish.
Yields: 1 cup
1 ruby red grapefruit
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and small diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1. Cut away the peel and the white pithy part of the grapefruit. Using a paring knife, cut out the individual grapefruit segments; set aside.
2. Juice the remaining grapefruit, and pour over the finely chopped shallots in a bowl; let marinate for fifteen minutes. Strain off the juice and reserve the shallots.
3. Slice the grapefruit segments into smaller slivers, and add to the marinated shallots. Add the cucumbers, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper and gently stir to combine.