Sage and anchovy fritters with agro dolce vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
18 \N Sage leaves
12 \N Tinned anchovy fillets
2 \N Plum tomatoes; cut into strips
\N \N Olive oil or sunflower oil for deep
\N \N ; frying
\N \N Salt
\N \N Lemon wedges or Agro Dolce Vinaigrette
100 grams Mixed salad leaves; rocket or lambs
\N \N ; lettuce (if serving
\N \N ; as a first course)
\N \N ; (3 1/2oz)
225 grams Plain flour; (8oz)
½ teaspoon Salt
1 \N Egg; seperated
1 tablespoon Sunflower oil
300 millilitres Lager; (1/2 pint)
125 millilitres Cold water; (4fl oz)

FOR THE BATTER

To prepare the batter, sift the flour with the salt. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk, the oil and half the beer. Mix gradually drawing in the flour to make a smooth batter, adding more beer as you go until it is all incorporated. Whisk in the water. Let the batter stand for half an hour if you have the time. Literally, just before using, whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks and fold into the batter.

Either use a proper deep-fryer or fill a deep frying pan with a 2cm (¾ inch) depth of oil, or use a wok, which is what I prefer to fry in. For something like this I usually use a half and half mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil. Heat it up until there is a gentle heat haze -about 185øC/360øF or when a cube of bread fizzles instantly and excitedly as soon as it enters the oil and begins to brown within 10-20 seconds.

Dry the anchovies, wiping off oil with a paper towel (otherwise the batter tends to float off them.) One by one dip the sage leaves, fillets and strips of tomato into the batter, coating completely, then slide into the hot oil.

Deep-fry until puffed and golden brown turning once. Drain quickly on kithcen paper and sprinkle sage and tomato fritters with a little salt.

Serve immediately with the vinaigrette, or with lemon wedges.

If serving as a first course, toss the salad leaves with about ⅔ of the dressing and arrange on individual plates. Keep the fritter hot as they are fried, then arrange on the leaves and drizzle over the last of the dressing. Serve immediately.

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