If you never made it to Herbie’s down in Marathon, in the Florida Keys…
You are too late. They closed. And it’s the saddest thing ever. 😦
Today, I had my first experience, ever, making conch filets. Herbie’s did it right. No fillers, no imitation anything… just conch, and lightly seasoned breading. I have no idea how they made theirs so awesome.
First I have to admit, until today, after being gifted the conch I used for my first attempt, I had no idea I could go to the store and purchase conch. Probably not as fresh, and frozen once or twice, but they do sell it. Also, I had no idea it was against US law to harvest conch. So, with that being said, I’m going to be really depressed if I can’t find a way to make this any ol’ time I feel like it.
I did do a little research on how to prepare the meat before actually cooking it. There was one person on this world wide web that suggested putting the conch in a brine for a few hours. I think that one tidbit made the biggest difference in the whole process. After brining, I knew the tenderizing with the mallet would be next. And after watching several videos… I was still NOT prepared for the mess that almost ruined dinner. But! I caught myself and slowed down the use of said mallet. It’s a vicious, but oh so necessary tool when it comes to preparing conch. (and if you see some of the same videos I saw… Don’t Use the Clawed Hammer!)
By the time I got to the last few pieces, I had them looking more like filets than fried chicken, and every single morsel was scrumptious… just remember, when playing with the seasoning, a little bit goes a long way, the brine does almost all the work for you 🙂
It was a great experience… one that I hope I have many more times in the near future.
As you know, I highly recommend playing with your food, every chance you get.