October 29, 2009

i've haddock nuff of you bacon in the sun... cheese!

(stretching it on the title there, ha!)

So for this week we are gonna go a traditional deep fried haddock with a bit of a twist, you guessed it, bacon and cheese!

When dealing with deep fried fish, there are few things you have to consider

1. what kind of fish to use
2. what kind of beer

most fish when used for a beer battered meal consists of one of more of the white fishes. For this particular recipe, we are gonna use haddock, which tend to have a nice subtle favor when mixed with the beer.

Now beer is essential here, you don't want to use some swill you have lying around. I would recommend going for a nice dark beer like Guinness or a stout. The beer adds several components here: flavor, and a leavener, in this case, natural yeast.
beer batter
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs (optional: they are also a leavener, 3 leaveners are a bit of overkill, but they lend to a nice crispy fish)
a pitcher of beer
s&p TT
flour for dusting/spices

sift the baking powder in with the flour, in a bowl mix the eggs and some beer, then slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the wet ones, adding more beer. You may not use the entire pitcher, so have a few drinks while your doing this. the batter should have a slightly thick consistency which slowly falls of the spoon. too thin, and the batter will burn before the fish is cooked, too thick and you get a big doughy mess with undercooked fish.
slice the fish on a diagonal, creating two pieces, salt and pepper on each side of the fish, add whatever spices you want at this point as well. I've used Cajun, garlic powder and even lemon pepper, they all add something.
dredge the fish in flour, then place in the batter. hold up fish with long skinny end, and let excess batter drip off, then place slowly in fryer: the edge that went in first will start to float. let go of fish, and use tongs to flip fish every few minutes to ensure fish is cooked. you will notice the batter start to thicken after each flip. fish takes about 3-5 minutes, depending on the size. remove to paper towel. Enjoy with tartar sauce!

the add-ons:

this week Ive taken our beer battered haddock, wrapped them in jalapeno Havarti and bacon, secured it with toothpicks, battered and deep fried. don't forget to remove the tooth picks!

Definitely 10 fries out of ten!

July 23, 2009

delicious! i squid you not

Well the hope i had for a weekly fry blog has gone straight to hell. I've been working 50 hour weeks all summer and it seems i don't have time to document my frying adventures. I will however do my best to update whenever possible.

this week we tackle the very delicious calamari!

so we start with a squid body. when choosing calamari, make sure the fish smell is not overpowering, they do not have a very long shelf life, 5 days at the most and that's pushing it. slice it into very thin rings, the thinner the better as it tends to get chewy in thicker slices. For this recipe, i avoided a liquid batter as it is hard to taste the calamari if its covered in batter.
instead we are gonna use a very simple flour based batter

1 cup of plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt and pepper
pink of cayenne
banana peppers

sift together and take the sliced calamari, throw in a hand full of pickled banana peppers, toss with the flour mixture. Throw this into the deep fryer. Calamari only take 5-10 seconds to cook, most places served it cooked a little longer. leave it down for about a minute. the baking powder will release carbon dioxide as soon as it hits the hot oil, leaving a nice crispy batter.
the hot peppers are especially nice with a batter. serve with a garlic mayo dill sauce, marinara or seafood sauce! (anything really). I really enjoyed deepfried seafood, so 9 fries out of ten!

side note: squid are gonna take over the world. Eat them before they eat you! I for one embrace our soon to be squid overlords. I am even willing to take one as my husband.

March 25, 2009

half assed frying: we have a wiener!

Okay, okay. So weekly fry blog was a little overly ambitious. I'm just so damn lazy! (and I was sick for a week, but excuses are still excuses). So test #6=the ghetto corn dog minus the corn. Now, the typical corn dog recipe calls for some cornmeal, but I didn't have any on hand so B just used plain old flour. bad idea. It was okay, but not delicious, as all deep fried food should be.
So to start, I took a delicious, delicious wiener and scored it a little so it wouldn't explode in the fryer. I grilled it first, because I damn well can, and things taste better that way. The batter I used was as follows:

ghetto corn dog
1 cup flour
1 egg
half can soda water
2 teaspoons baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of sugar

I should have used a pancake-like batter with milk and cornmeal.

half cup cornmeal
half cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
salt and pepper
sprinkle or more of sugar
1 egg
half cup of milk

(I'll redo the experiment with the new ingredients and post pics later, but for now, the recipe at hand.)

So I coated the dog in batter and place in the deep fryer for several minutes to get a nice brown coating. The dog will float, so try to keep it under the oil to brown evenly, or put another fryer basket over top. I kept it frying for a good 6 minutes and the hot dog came out nice and golden but the batter was a little loose, so next time I will coat with cornstarch or flour to keep the batter sticking. It was crunchy and not bad, but the corn dog would definitely be better. Of course, if you are deep frying hot dogs with a batter, you probably don't care anyway. It's good to know there are always ways to make things even worse for you. The hot dog itself was delicious, I ate it with mustard, but the batter was lacking.I will definitely try this again with a more suitable batter, but for this week I give it 4 fries out of ten

February 20, 2009

it's my party and i'll fry if i want to...

Okay, okay, so my birthday was last week, but I still had a delicious piece of cake that my roommate Ashley baked me for my birthday. So test 5! Deep fried birthday cake! I took the piece of cake (pineapple/banana/cinnamon cake she told me), battered it in a light tempura style coating and deep fried it for a minute or so. Delicious!
I have written out a recipe for the batter this time, to make it easier to write down. this recipe can also be used for deep fried ice cream and fruit fritters.
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of baking powder/soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of ice water
1 tsp vanilla extract
sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then mix together the wet ingredients in other bowl lightly. the water must be ice cold to insure a light batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix lightly. do not over mix.
add the slice of cake and coat thoroughly. slowly lower the cake into the deep fryer. After about 30 seconds, the cake started to float and the top wasn't crisping, so I put another fryer basket on top to keep it submersed in oil. Now, the oil in the fryer should be as clean as possible, as any food fried previously will lightly incorporate that flavor into the batter, in my case, it had a slight taste of chicken wings, but was still delicious. When cake is nice and golden brown, remove with tongs and garnish with icing sugar, chocolate sauce, etc.

The batter was light and crispy, slightly sweet with nice crunch. Will definitely make again. Give it a 8 fries out of ten!

February 16, 2009

my friend Jillian helps me out of a pickle.

Test four! Today my lovely assistant Jillian helped me with this post, deep fried pickles! Our "establishment" serves these tasty things as an appetizer and they are fairly popular among pickle connoisseurs. No silly pickle haters allowed! First, as always, grabbing the ingredients. You will needs some delicious giant dill pickles, some eggs, milk, some flour, some breadcrumbs (panko again in this case), and some cajun spice. Crack open the eggs and mix with some milk, beat lightly until just combined. then add a boatload of
cajun to the breadcrumbs, you want a 60% breadcrumbs to %40 percent cajun mixture. Place flour in a separate bowl. Cut the pickles into 4 segments each, length wise, an place on paper towel to let it soak up some of the moisture, the less moisture the better. We used to freeze our pickles after we made them, but found that the moisture create in the ice made the batter fall off when we fried them. let them soak into the paper towel for at least 15 minutes.
Then, as Jillian demonstrates in the below pictures, dip into the egg mixture, then the flour, back
into the egg and then into the the resulting should be a nice thick layer of a breadcrumb batter. Place the pickles in the deep fryer for approximately 45 seconds or until the breadcrumbs brown. Let cool and serve with sour cream! I give this recipe 8 fries out of ten, but only if you are a pickle lover, as they are very dilly.I seemed to have lost the picture of the finished product, but will post later. Enjoy!
p.s. Thanks Jillian!

February 13, 2009

i battered your taters until your balls were crunchy

So test three! This one turned out extremely well and was friggin delicious. As a sports pub, our restaurant has a limited amount of things readily available that aren't chicken wings, so I gotta improvise. I'm always looking for things to make with potatoes, because let's face it, they are friggin awesome. I especially love loaded baked potatoes, twice baked potatoes or potato croquettes, and I wanted to try and recreate that taste in this test. So first I took some mashed potatoes out of a bag, although any left over mashed potatoes will work at all., but try to keep the potatoes as cold as possible. I then collected the ultimate baked potato ingredients; a handful of green onions, some sour cream, shredded cheddar and bacon bits, (the bacon can be omitted for veggie folk, but it adds loads of taste), a sprinkle of cajun and I also added a few shots of ranch for flavor. Grabbed all those guys and mixed them together, then placed them in the freezer for approx 20 minutes to stiffen up as the sour cream made them a little runny. I then took a bowl of breadcrumbs mixed with cajun spice (we have a lot lying around), and beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl. To make the balls, i took a golf ball sized amount and rolled it between my palms to make a smooth ball, i then dipped that into the beaten egg mixture, then rolled it into the breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs stuck well but the potato was still a little runny. It doesn't really matter that much at this point though because the fryer will create a nice crunchy coating with the breadcrumbs.

So I placed the balls in the fryer until the breadcrumbs were a nice brown. The result should be a nice crispy coating on the outside, and steaming hot baked potato flavored goodness on the inside. When i cut it open and tasted it, it tasted exactly like a fully laded baked potato should, creamy, crunchy and delicious. I will definitely recreate for side dishes for meals. I give it an 8 out of ten (enthusiastic!) fries.

February 10, 2009

blooming idiot

so for this fry test i tried to recreate the "blooming onion". i first had one of these when i lived in Ottawa, but they are apparently fairly common in the states at places like chilli's and the outback steakhouse. it basically is a large white onion, cut into segments and battered which blooms out like a flower when fried. i didn't exactly go according to plan. immediately after it came out, i figured out a way easier way to do it. sigh.
so i started with a large white onion, cut about an inch off the top and bottom and removed the skin. took a sharp knife and cut across approximately 3/4 of the way down, then again in the other direction, over and over until i had approximately 16 sections to work with. i then reached in and pulled out most of the core pieces. i placed the onion in an ice bath to help spread the petals for what was supposed to be an hour, but ended up getting distracted with having to cook food (oh, yeah, my job) and it ended up being closer to 2 hours. i think this contributed to some of the problem with the onion, as when i finally took the onion out, the last row of petals had fallen off. whoops. i dried the onion and mixed the flour. i had about a cup of flour, some cayenne, Cajun, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and a little cumin. mixed it all together and floured the onion. i then mixed a cup of milk with an egg. dipped the flour in the milk mixture, then the flour, and repeated the process. i should have let the onion sit for at least 15 minutes in the fridge to let the batter cool, but i didn't, as i got impatient. this probably didn't help.

i then dropped the onion in the fryer from which i had removed the fryer baskets. i let it cook for approximately 5 minutes, then removed. the batter didn't really stick to the petals much, and as soon as i took it out i realised i should have just made a simple batter with all the ingredients, then dipped the whole product in that. the batter was good in itself, well seasoned, it just wasn't thick enough to give the whole thing a battery goodness i was looking for. i made a quick dill dip of mayonnaise/sour cream/dill and garlic powder to dip the petals in. that was unfortunately the best part.
all in all, it was good, but not restaurant good. i will attempt again with a different batter next time, and post the results. i give it 4 fries out of ten.