⚽ World Cup 2018 Game 8 – Croatia vs. Nigeria

One of the best things I’ve ever tasted was a Nero di Seppia risotto in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and since then, my refrigerator has never gone a day without easy access to squid ink. Fluffy Nigerian akara (bean fritters) get a makeover as a squid ink batter to fry up some plump sea scallops to give a nod to Croatia’s rich seafood heritage. The color might be off-putting, but these crispy low-carb and protein-rich fritters will become the new ritual food to welcome home soccer champions.

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Nero di Seppia Akara
  1. Soak the beans in water for an hour then pulse small amounts in a blender to break the peas. Soak the beans in water for 2 to 24 hours.
  2. Rub the peas between your hands to take the skin off and the ivory bean cover is revealed. The skins will float to the top to skim with a slotted spoon. Replace the water and continue this process until the skin is removed from all the peas. They should resemble naked peanuts.
  3. In a food processor, puree only the beans, onions, and jalapeno. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water but the mixture should be completely smooth. Add the squid ink and 1/2 tsp sea salt and mix well.
  4. Heat up a large skillet or a pot and cover with at least 3 inches of canola oil. The oil should be hot enough to sizzle but not too hot.
  5. In a separate plate, mix the flour with 1/2 of the remaining salt. Coat the scallop with flour then generously batter it in the bean mixture.
  6. Drop the scallops in the oil with a spoon to reduce the spatter. Fry 4-5 minutes for each scallop, turning once. Fry in batches and do not over-crowd the oil.
  7. Remove the scallop from the hot oil with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm.
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