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Hearts of Palm Fritters with Avocado Dipping Sauce

Hearts of Palm Fritters with Avocado Dipping Sauce
Emeril Lagasse

Vegetable oil, for frying
1 (8.8-ounce, drained weight) jar hearts of palm, drained, small diced (14.4 ounces. filled weight)
5 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon Essence, plus more for seasoning, recipe follows
Pinch sugar
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon jalapeno hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat a deep-fryer or a Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet filled halfway with oil to 360 degrees F. Place the diced hearts of palm onto a paper towel and let drain thoroughly.
Transfer to a mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl combine 3 tablespoons the chives, 1 teaspoon of the garlic, egg yolks and heavy cream and whisk well to combine. Add the egg mixture to the hearts of palm and blend gently to combine. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, Essence and pinch of sugar. Stir the flour mixture into the hearts of palm mixture until just combined. In a clean mixing bowl beat the egg whites until medium to stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the hearts of palm mixture very gently and let sit 5 minutes before frying. While the fritter batter is resting, make the dipping sauce by combining avocado, mayonnaise, lime juice, green onions, jalapeno, jalapeno hot sauce, cayenne pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons of chives, remaining teaspoon garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until thoroughly smooth, stopping to wipe down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside until ready to
serve the fritters. Drop the batter by 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls into the hot oil and fry fritters, in batches if necessary, until golden brown, turning, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove fritters using a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Season with Essence to taste and serve immediately, with the avocado dipping sauce.