In a small bowl, have the gelatin sitting in cold water. By adding the gelatin to the cold water, it is blooming or becoming soft to use.
Saute onions and bay leaf in butter until soft over medium-low heat in a large sauce pan. Add conch and water, cover and cook on medium heat until tender (around 2 hours). Add more water, if needed, to cook the conch until tender. Once the conch is tender and most of the water has cooked out, add the flour and cook for 1 minute, mix well. Add heavy cream and mix well. Once the conch batter has come to a boil, squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin and add to the conch batter. Mix well and pour into a long thin container and let cool overnight. When the mixture is cool it will be firm from the gelatin.
Place a little oil in the palm of your hand and coat. Take about 1-ounce of the conch batter in your hand and roll around to form a ball. Do this for the whole batch. Place the balls on a tray and into the freezer until frozen.
To make the Conch Fritter Coating: Beat egg until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder. Add milk and beer with the chives and mix until all is incorporated, being careful not to over mix the batter.
Once the balls are frozen, fill an 8 quart pan with canola oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Using a spoon to dip the frozen ball into the Conch Fritter Coating. Carefully dropping the coated fritter into the hot oil. Repeat the process for the desired amounts. When the conch fritter has a rich brown color, remove. Set aside for a few minutes and allow them to cool slightly before serving. Be careful! Right out of the fryer, the center is super hot, like molten lava!
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Katsuya Fukushima of Cafe Atlantico in Washington, DC