Crumbed Carrots with Frothy Mint and Lemon Hollandaise
375 g unsalted butter
500 g carrots, scrubbed well
200 g fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons black onion seeds
50 g unsweetened dessicated coconut
2 whole eggs
flour for dusting
1 teaspoon white peppercorns, lightly crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 eggs, separated
Groundnut oil for deep frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serve: 6 as a starter
Making: 40 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Plus infusing time: 1-3 hours
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off strips of lemon zest into a small saucepan. Add the butter and mint and heat gently until the butter is liquid. Boil for a minute or two then remove from the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for at least an hour, but 2-3 hours would be better. (Keep it in a warm place as you do not want it to solidify)
Break off any knobbly pieces of carrot, and chop any larger pieces into finger size pieces. Tip the breadcrumbs onto a large tray. Sprinkle in the black onion seeds and coconut and mix well together.
Beat the whole eggs in a shallow dish with a fork and tip a little flour onto a large plate and season. Coat each finger in the beaten egg, dust in the flour, (shaking off any excess) and then coat evenly in the crumb mixture. Set aside on a tray until ready to cook.
Squeeze the lemon into a small pan with 2 tablespoons water, the peppercorns and shallot in a small pan and boil down until only 1 tablespoon remains. Strain this whilst still warm, through a fine sieve into a bowl set over a pan of hot but not boiling water.
Add the egg yolks and with a whisk beat well to combine. Continue whisking and add the butter in a thin steady stream (being sure to leave the sediment and lemon rind and mint that have settled in the bottom of the pan) until all the clarified butter has been used and the hollandaise is thick and glossy. If it is very thick whisk in a spoonful of hot water. Season to taste with salt, pepper and remove from the heat. (Nb. I can do this as a quick food processor method if preferred…..)
Heat the oil in a large deep pan, wok or deep fat fryer. Deep fry the crumbed carrots a few at a time until lightly golden. Drain well on kitchen paper.
In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir in 1/3 of the egg white into the hollandaise and carefully fold in the rest. Serve immediately with the carrot fingers.