“Who knew? Street food is banned in Madrid! The one city you would bet your hat on to have amazing street food. I never quite got to the bottom of why this is the case but in truth the Madrileños do eat in the streets, or very close to it, as I discovered in a wonderful old wood-and-brass establishment that served salt cod croquettes and fritters. Every morning from about 11am this place fills with people who come for a plate of fritters and a glass of vermouth or a small beer. I loved it; it was just one of those eating moments that only really exist in Madrid. I met a guy there called Fabio who was really into fusion cooking and I grabbed the opportunity to try a bit of Mexican salsa with some traditional Spanish cooking.” Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food
- 1 lb (454 g) salt cod
- ½ lb (227 g) fluffy potatoes
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 French shallots, minced
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup (60 g) plain flour
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- salt and black pepper
- oil, for frying
Lemon and caper mayonnaise
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp capers, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 ripe pineapple
- 1 lime, rind finely grated, juiced
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1 red birdseye chilli, cut into thin rings
- 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- small handful mint leaves, roughly torn
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 24 hours
To make the mayonnaise, combine all ingredients in a bowl.
To make the salsa, peel the pineapple and then cut into quarters and remove the core. Finely dice the flesh and place in a bowl. Add the lime rind and juice with the ginger, chilli, spring onions and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to combine before serving.
To make the fritters, cover the salt cod in cold water. Soak for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
Drain salt cod, pushing down on it to remove excess water. Flake the fish with a fork. In a medium saucepan, boil potatoes with thyme and garlic until tender. Peel and mash with a ricer. Mix potatoes with salt cod and shallots, mashing finely with a fork. Lightly whisk eggs and stir into fish mixture. Stir in flour, chives, salt and pepper, and mix lightly.
In a deep fryer or a deep saucepan, heat at least 2.5 cm of oil to 170°C. Drop spoonfuls of fritter mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with mayonnaise and salsa.