Thank you Carapelli Olive Oil for sponsoring this post. For more information and a store locator, please visit CarapelliUSA.com and be sure to check out Carapelli’s social channels: Facebook and Instagram.
These Fried Shrimp Balls are boasting in rich Italian flavors thanks to Carapelli Unfiltered Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They are easy to make and are a perfect appetizer for the upcoming holidays!
The Romans had a parable, “Partes humani cultus necessariae vinum … atque oleum olivarum,” which means, in essence, “The necessary parts of human culture are wine and olive oil.” From the Neolithic period, wine opened up trade and spurred on the Greeks to colonize much of the coastal Mediterranean. In essence, wine had a ‘civilizing’ effect on those cultures who cultivated vines and indulged wine at meals – “Wine is the fruit of the vine, but etiquette is the fruit of the wine,” as a similar parable holds. Olive oil, too, had similar civilizing effects, ranging from a primitive source of preservation, to skin care and essential nutrients, to important source of trade revenue. In fact, the Romans even devised olive cultivation as a means to privately financing road construction and maintenance in North Africa – by tying the upkeep of the roads to ownership of roadside olive groves.
As you might be able to tell from my recipes, olive oil is a cornerstone ingredient in my kitchen. Versatile, delicious, and supremely healthy, it’s an ingredient that, in all honesty, I really can’t imagine trying to cook without.
With that said, I am a firm believer that recipes are the sum of their ingredients in terms of quality – and the oil you use is assuredly no exception. In general, you want the oil you use to be dense, slightly nutty, a sort of ‘nuance of nature’ that manages to be remarkably flavorful without being overpowering. Naturally, that perfectly describes today’s product Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is cold-extracted, unfiltered, and all natural, allowing it to retain its naturally cloudy and rustic appearance, with heightened flavor and body, meaning it will pair excellently with beef, lamb, and greens. Carapelli Olive Oil, very simply, offers exquisite, reliable quality and flavor, via olives nurtured by nature, and harvested only at the optimal harvest time.
To demonstrate this point, we come to today’s recipe – Italian Style Shrimp Balls.
To start things off, we melt butter in a cast iron pan with Carapelli Unfiltered Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and then we sauté onion, garlic, celery, and zucchini until they are tender and the garlic is fragrant. After that, we mince about four cups of shrimp and add that to the pan, and continue sautéing for about two minutes.
Once that’s done, place the mixture into a large bowl, and add in chopped parsley and basil, the seasonings listed below, along with grated cheese, fresh lemon zest, and two eggs. Mix that well, and then blend in the breadcrumbs.
Now comes the fun part – getting your hands dirty.
We’re going to need to begin forming the mixture into balls roughly one inch in diameter – but I doubt Zeus will strike you down if you prefer them a tad larger, though I would advise against forming them any smaller.
Now, another fun part – more raw eggs, and more breadcrumbs. Can you guess what’s coming next?
Beat the eggs into a wash, and set the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and then dredge the balls in the egg mixture, and then roll them in the breadcrumbs. Yes, this is a dirty business, but this is the delicacy you’ve chosen.
After that’s done, heat a few tablespoons of Carapelli Unfiltered Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large cast iron frying pan, and begin frying the balls until they reach a nice golden coloration.
Then simply serve with some extra grated cheese and lemon wedges.
Living the Gourmet
Yields 1 dozen Shrimp Balls
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
5 based on 21 review(s)
- 4 cups of fresh uncooked shrimp – minced
- Carapelli Unfiltered Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
- 2 tbs. butter
- 3 cloves of garlic – chopped
- ½ cup of red onion – chopped
- ½ cup grated zucchini
- 4 cups fresh shrimp - minced
- ½ cup of celery – about 2 stalks – chopped
- ¼ cup of Romano cheese – grated
- 4 – 5 fresh basil leaves – chopped
- ¼ cup of fresh Italian parsley – stems removed and chopped
- Zest of ½ lemon
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of Italian bread crumbs – unseasoned
- 1 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- Melt the butter with 2 tbs. of olive oil in a large cast iron frying pan.
- Sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and zucchini until the tender.
- Add the shrimp and sauté, for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place the mixture into a mixing bowl; add the parsley and basil, seasonings, grated cheese, lemon zest and 2 eggs; mix well. Blend in the bread crumbs.
- Shape into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
- Beat the remaining 2 eggs in a small, shallow bowl and place the seasoned bread crumbs in another shallow bowl.
- Heat a few tbs. of olive oil in a large cast iron frying pan.
- Dip and coat each shrimp ball in the egg mixture, then roll in the bread crumbs.
- Fry in the skillet over a medium heat until a beautiful golden color appears on all sides.
- Place in a dish prepared with paper towels.
- Serve with extra grated cheese and lemon wedges.
For more information regarding Carapelli Unfiltered Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or to find at a store near you, please visit CarapelliUSA.com and be sure to check out Carapelli’s social channels: Facebook and Instagram.
Enjoy with Love!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.