2 ratings

Conch Croquettes and Pickled Pineapple Tartar Sauce

A dish to remind you of the islands
Conch Croquettes and Pickled Pineapple Tartar Sauce
Courtesy of chef Nina Compton, owner of Compere Lapin

This recipe was developed by chef Nina Compton, owner of Compere Lapin in New Orleans. This dish is inspired by her childhood in St. Lucia, where fresh conch was a regular part of her diet. You can use fresh or frozen conch for this, or even boiled shrimp would work well. The pickled pineapple tartar sauce also gives the dish an island feel.

Recipe courtesy of chef Nina Compton, owner of Compere Lapin


For the conch

  • 12 Cups water
  • 8 Ounces conch
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 1/2 bunch rosemary
  • Olive oil

For the croquettes

  • 4 Cups whole milk, warm
  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 Ounces conch, poached
  • 1 Cup breadcrumbs
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, peeled & finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Pinch of nutmeg

For the tartar sauce

  • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons pickled pineapple, small diced or mango
  • 1 Tablespoon jalapeño or Calabrese chili, chopped finely
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped capers and 2 tablespoons juice (from jar)
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus wedges, for serving/garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper


For the conch

Step 1: In a sauté pan, caramelize the onions and add the rosemary.

Step 2: Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Add 8-ounce conch and simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 4: Take off heat and cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely in liquid.

For the croquettes

Step 1: Heat the butter in a medium sauté pan over a medium flame.

Step 2: Add 1/2 cup onions and diced peppers and cook until they are translucent for about 5 minutes. Add 1½ cups of the flour and mix energetically. Cook for 5 minutes to make sure the flour is cooked through; it should start to take on a golden color.

Step 3: Pour 4 cups milk into the flour mixture and cook, stirring continuously, for about 2 minutes; add the spices, until you have a thick béchamel.

Step 4: Add the conch and sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon salt and pinch of nutmeg. Cook for another 2 minutes. The mixture should be thick enough that you can mold in your hands. Carefully pick up a bit and try to ball it with your hands. It shouldn’t be too sticky. If it does stick to your hands, cook it a little longer.

Step 5: On a cookie sheet, spread the mixture and let it cool to room temperature.

Step 6: Take a spoonful of the cooled béchamel mixture and roll it in your hands to make a small cylinder the size of a wine cork.

Step 7: Roll the cylinder in the remaining 1 cup of flour, then in the beaten eggs, and then in 1 cup breadcrumbs. Repeat with all the croquettes.

Step 8: In a small, deep frying pan, heat the olive oil to 375F (190C – measured with a candy thermometer). Add the croquettes in small batches, making sure they are covered completely in oil.

Step 9:  Fry until they have a nice golden color, about 1-2 minutes; then transfer them to paper towels to drain. Repeat with all the croquettes and serve hot with some tartar sauce and lemon wedges. Enjoy!

For the tartar sauce

Step 1: In a medium bowl, mix together all tartar sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Step 2: Serve alongside croquettes.