Saturday, December 23, 2006
Deep frying took this Family Style to the next level. Mike's second deep fryer, arriving halfway through the night, made it even more fun. As he walked up the stairs to my third floor apartment, he told me he could smell the oil by the first landing. And it was awesome.
We beer-battered and fried asparagus, Spanish manzanilla olives stuffed with minced pimiento, sliced zucchini, sweet and russet potato slices, and chick peas - salted and sprinkled with ground sumac
(like Semiramis puts on their fries
). And more asparagus. Did we want more asparagus? "Oh god yah", one said. We deep fried French toast in a non-beer batter. As one of my pals told me, deep frying bread, now you're really speaking my language. We finished with homemade donuts, donut holes and apple fritters.
Donuts used the same recipe from our hotel room donut session
, except for spelt flour and potato starch and Mike's pinching out of the centers. Claire's Mom's apple fritter recipe made vegan - with Noel's differently sized apple pieces for, as he put it, a better mouth feel - bursted with the irony of fresh healthy apples inside a crispy oil-laden dough. As for how these tasted from the non-vegan original version, Claire put it, the apple's seemed more caramelized here. As they came out, someone excited, "it keeps getting better and better." And yet another told us, "I didn't know the donuts could be topped."For all Deep Frying
Flip whatever you're frying when it's brown on the sides. It shouldn't stick to the bottom. And space the items out so they don't stick to each other. Mainly, just listen. As Noel noted, deep frying is very auditory; you can really tell what's happening. The oil should be hot enough so it starts to brown and float up in a minute or so. If not, make sure the fryer has stayed on; the magnetic safety releases on deep fryer power plugs easily pull off. With our two deep fryers, we blew a circuit breaker near the end of the night. And went through about 4 liters of oil.
After frying, drain in a colander over paper towels, pat dry with towels, or put in a warm oven to dry. Whatever you do, don't get any water in the hot oil.Beer Batter Recipe
2 cups chick pea flour (makes it stick like eggs would)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
12 ounces (1 bottle) good quality beerFrench Toast Recipe
1/4 cup flax seeds, ground to a fine meal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cashew butter (or 2 tablespoons ground cashews)
3 good shakes of ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
enough soy milk to make it just a bit runny
Thick cut bread (get an uncut loaf at your local bread shop and cut it thick yourself and it'll be even fresher)
Powdered sugar for dusting
Dip bread slices (cut smaller pieces for appetizers) in to the batter, then in to the deep fryer (or on an oiled pan in a non-deep fry session). I remember Frank telling me, "that French toast is out of control
it's so good." And someone else saying, "this is unbelievable .. wow."
Claire's Mom's Apple Fritter Recipe, rewritten and modified vegan
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
Combine in another bowl, then add to flour mixture:
1/3 cup soy milk
1 Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 cup apple sauce
Mix in to flour mixture:
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon margarine
powdered sugar for dusting
Form and deep fry small donut hole sized balls.
Mike suggested using the batter for over fake cheese formed in to cheese sticks. Perhaps we'll fry this next time, but in the meantime I might take his suggestion to make saganaki
- with brandy to light on fire and lemon juice to put it out.
photos: Chris B.more photos