Today, for the first time in my life, I attempted frying various items at home. We had canola oil, a pot, and a thermometer, so I decided that it might be fun to try. First, I looked up a recipe for potato chips. Here's what is said:
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced paper-thin (I used a potato peeler for these)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 1 quart oil for deep frying
- Place potato slices into a large bowl of cold water as you slice. Drain, and rinse, then refill the bowl with water, and add the salt (Didn't really notice what this did. I had to add more salt later). Let the potatoes soak in the salty water for at least 30 minutes. Drain, then rinse and drain again.
- Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Fry potato slices in small batches. Once they start turning golden, remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all of the slices are fried. Season with additional salt if desired.
This seemed to work pretty well overall, and it served my purpose even though I only used one potato and about 2/3 of a T. of salt. I chose potato chips to try the first time out because I figured that potatoes are easily replaceable, and I'd have enough to use in several small batches so I could get the hang of about how long they needed, and what color meant 'I'm done!'
I burned to first batch. They were a deep gold color, and tasted uber bitter. Just kinda nasty. The second and third batches were a little raw, because I had only left them in until they were browning on the edges, but yellow in the center. The four batch on were all perfect. I left them in till the majority of the chip was golden, but on some the center was still yellow.
The width was a lot like a Lay's potato chip, and although I liked that, I think next time I'll try for the slices to be a bit wider. I think that this would make for a less delicate chip, and thus; less delicate cooking. Think: Cape Cod potato chips.
Once I got the chips done I got all excited. Here I had nice, hot oil just begging to be used on some other beautiful piece of food. Who was I to ignore the call of the Canola?! That stuff could hurt you if it felt like it...
So, I bustled around the kitchen, trying to scrounge up some other delicious delicacies to deep-fry. I found a good selection of things. In total I fried small pieces of pizza, large marshmallows, pickle slices, cheesecake, Little Debbie Swiss Roll pieces, Oreos, onion, and mini peanut butter cups. Because these things needed an outer coating, I dipped them in scrambled egg then rolled them in Panko bread crumbs. This worked well only for the pizza, really. On the other things, the breading fell of even with plenty of egg, and on the pickles I only used the egg, no breading. In future, I think it would be wiser to use a batter rather than the crumbs, but for my first time frying, it was fine.
Here's the rundown on what I used and how well it worked:
- Pizza: Worked really well. Next time, though, I'll be sure to use a better quality pizza. This one was lame take-out, so it was lacking in the flavor department. My friend loved it though, and nearly bit my brother's arm of when he went for his piece. Don't worry, he's all set now, and he can't wait until next time.
- Marshmallows: Yes... these are for toasting, not frying. While they tasted good, they also inflated during the frying process, and the breadcrumbs fell off. Not so good, and I wouldn't try it again.
- Pickle slices: These were okay. I used sour dill pickles, which are never my favorite, so it depends on the audience I suppose.
- Cheesecake: Leftovers from the Cheesecake Factory (go now please if you haven't been). It was the Godiva Cheesecake (which is delicious just sayin') and it fried pretty well, all things considered. I would definitely try it again, but with a batter.
- Swiss Roll: I would try it again with a batter. Not the most quality dessert, but it was available.
- Oreos: tried theseat Story land in Glen, NH (wicked fun place), and they were incredible. Needs a batter. This also requires regular, or my favorite; Double Stuff Oreos. the only thing we have were reduced fat, which left something to be desired. I can't wait to make these agin, though, as they were really delicious in Story Land.
- Onions: Needed a batter, but who doesn't love onion rings...?
- Mini Peanut Butter Cups: While they were tasty melted, I wouldn't try this again. The breading completely fell off, and left me with melting peanut butter cups. Not good.
- Freeze all the items before frying. Otherwise, they may begin to turn to mush before your eyes. They should be frozen for about 45 minutes to an hour for square inch bites.
- Once again: I recommend a batter!! Once I find a good one I'll post it.