“ Panelle” – Chick pea flour fritters
370g Chickpea flour
1tbsp Gourmet garden parsley
2tsp Sea salt
1cup light olive oilor sunflower oil plus extra if needed for deep frying
Panelle are a light, fried crisp fritter made from a paste of seasoned chickpea flour. They are a typical Sicilian street food that is usually served with a little salt and a squeeze of lemon either eaten on their own or between rolls of crusty bread. Panelle are perfect as a gluten free snack and you can serve these either on their own or as an addition to a chicken or meat dish as they are perfect with a great Italian sauce. The idea is to get the fritters quite thin when spreading the mixture so that when they are fried they tend to blister. They are best eaten hot although room temperature is also delicious.
Pour the water into a heavy based saucepan and whisk in the chickpea flour until well combined and smooth. Turn on the heat to a low temperate and stir in the parsley and of salt. After about 3 minutes and stirring continually with a wooden spoon you will find that the mixture starts to thicken, you will need to use your muscles as it is important that the mix is continually stirred. Keep stirring for another 8 minutes until the mixture starts to breathe. By breathing I mean like molten lava or thick bubbles, as soon as it starts to breathe like this take it off the heat. Taste to adjust the seasoning and pour the mixture onto either a cleaned slightly oiled workbench – marble, stone or laminate bench tops are perfect. Work quickly and using a spatula is best to really smooth out the mixture to about 2-3 mm. Allow the panelle to cool at room temperature and slice into 6cm – 8cm squares.
Heat a heavy frypan with the over moderate temperature and test the oil by dropping in a bit of the panelle to see if the oil sizzles and the panelle turns golden. The panelle needs to almost be covered with the hot oil. In batches fry the panelled for up to a minute on each side until golden and crispy. To clean your pot as the panelled does tend to stick, fill the pot with hot water and leave it to soak for about 5-10 minutes. Serve the panelle hot with a sprinkle of extra salt or a squeeze of lemon.