Deep Fry Everything

So in my perpetual quest for things that make my life in the kitchen easier, one of my Christmas gifts this year was a new deep fryer. We burned out the T-Fal one my sister gave us two years ago and had to go back to the old Fry Daddy. The Fry Daddy is functional, but not very pretty. It also takes a while to get where you want to go. Sloooow to heat up after the T-Fal. The new one is much faster and holds more oil. I'm pretty impressed with it so far. Hopefully I won't blow it out like the last one.

I also got two books on deep frying stuff. The Frequent Fryers Cookbook is a nice tome that gave me a lovely idea I tried out recently. While deep-frying the turkey is a great idea and tastes fabulous, it's kind of a hassle and not something you can do everyday. Plus, the best part of the deep fried turkey is the skin. There's never enough to go around. So what to do? Deep fry Cornish game hens instead. One serving apeice, and each person gets all the skin. I did find two issues. You have to season them pretty heavily, or else they're kind of bland. I didn't do well this time around. I tried brining the little birds and they were juicy, but uninteresting. Next time, I'm going to go for a marinade with this seasoning blend and do some injecting as well. Two, it's difficult to judge doneness. I didn't get them entirely done, but the skin was starting to turn black, so I pulled them. I don't necessarily think his temperature and cooking times are the best compromise, so I'll have to do some more work. The book recommended 375 for 12 minutes. I'm thinking maybe 365 or 350 for 15 might work better. I'll do some experimenting and report back.

The other cookbook is Fried & True. Both are good books, but Frequent Fryers is the one I'm going to use more often, I think. Fried & True has a lot of recipes that seem really nice if I have all day to sit around and cook. The recipes tend to be more involved, but usually I need something quick. Given that J and I walk in the door from work between 6:30 and 7:00 every night, we're not in the mood to spend two hours screwing around with dinner. If I can't have it on the table by 7:30 or so, I just don't care that much about it. That's why I use the deep fryer most of the time. Let's see, cornish game hen in 15 minutes or an hour and a half? Easy choice on a weeknight.

I also tried to do a beer batter funnel cake. That didn't work out as planned. My goal there was to make something savory and crispy that could maybe be dipped in a ranch dressing or a nice blue cheese. It was odd. Not enough crisp, a little too much center, but still tasty with ranch dressing. I need to use a smaller aperture for the batter dropping and try to make strips instead of the big funky spiral. That should work better. As far as the batter goes, I use the recipe out of The Joy of Cooking. You do have a copy of that, right? Everybody should. It's a great reference for all the weird things you never remember. Plus, it's easier than trying Google stuff from the kitchen. (Although this is a great google trick.)

In other appliance news, I got my safety award from the company this week. Instead of some useless trinket, I picked out a Toastmaster Food Slicer. It's a cheap model, as all company gifts are, but seems to work okay on summer sausage. I may try roasting a beast and seeing what kind of performance I get from it for beast slices. It's a little small, but it was free. We'll see how it goes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - I just purchased my first deep fryer, and was looking online for receipe books when I came accross this blog entry. I never mastered the technique for browning round things in a skillet, such as sausages, meatballs, etc, and wondered if sausage links could be done in the deep fryer. Have you tried it? Any tips?

8:50 AM  

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