On Monday at The Thatched the first course I will be serving is frit mallorquin won tons. Normally frit is served in a large dish like the photo above, but I thought it would be fun to serve it slightly differently.
Frit mallorquin is mostly widely dish of fried liver and offal. It comes from the times when peasants still killed their own pigs. For all peasants in all of Spain (and I imagine most places in the world) the annual pig slaughter was a massive party with neighbours and families getting together to help kill and butcher the pig and then preserve as much of the meat as possible for the coming year.
Frying liver and other offal with peppers, onions and other available vegetables was one of the mid morning dishes served to everyone working on the pig slaughter and if you eat frit mallorquin at a Mallorcan restaurant (and at Barrafina in London) this is what you will get.
However frit (as its name suggests) actually means fried anything.
To make a frit mallorquin you use a lot – a LOT of olive oil, so it has to be really good quality extra virgin stuff. You take whichever ingredients you want to make a frit with, cut them into pieces of the same size and then fry them in oil in batches. The herbs you use are typically bay leaf and fennel fronds, and if you want to a small chile or cayenne pepper. Fennel fronds are used a lot in Mallorcan cooking and hardly at all in mainland Spain. They are the leafy bit at the top of fennel bulbs that we normally cut off here in the UK. If you can’t find them (Natoora UK sell them) but want the aniseed taste then use chopped up fennel bulb, a teaspoon of roasted fennel seeds or a little bit of pernod or absinthe.
The below recipe is for fish frit mallorquin. Xesca sent it to me when I dared to say that there weren’t actually that many seafood recipes in Balearic food. As you can see it is a list of ingredients rather than actual amounts. Frit is much more of a ‘use what you have in the fridge’ dish than a ‘go out and buy the ingredients for’ one.
spring onions or scallion (green included)
dice all the ingredients more or less the same size.
batch fry all ingredients with the fennel at the end, just to cooking it lightly through the oil
mix them up and put a pinch of salt
If you are using bayleaf and chile then keep them in the oil to cook with each batch