1 3/4 cups chickpea flour
2 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
canola or vegetable oil for deep frying
Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Serves 10 to 12
In a large saucepan, combine the flour, water, parsley, salt, pepper and cheese, whisking to eliminate any lumps. Place the pan on medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture the consistency of polenta. After 4-5 minues you will notice large lumps starting to appear as the mixture begins to thicken. Just continue stirring and it will smooth out to a very thick mixture. The fritter batter is ready when it begins pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Grease an 11 by 17-inch (28-43-cm) baking sheet and pour the batter onto it. With a wet spatula, spread the batter to the edges of the pan in an even layer. Cover the pan with a piece of oiled waxed paper and cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place 4-6 inches (10-15cm) of oil in a deep fryer or heavy deep saucepan set on medium-high heat. Heat to 350 degrees - don't let the oil get any hotter than 375 degrees. If you don't have a candy or deep-fat frying thermometer, drop a 1-inch (2.5-cm) cube of bread into the oil when you think it is hot enough. If it turns golden brown in 1 minute, the oil is ready.
While the oil is heating, invert the cold mixture onto a cutting board and cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch (4 to 5-cm) squares. Fry 4-5 squares at a time until they are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt to taste and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining squares. Serve hot, lightly sprinkled with lemon juice if you wish.
Wine Suggestion: Semillon-Chardonnay