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Fried and True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts
     

Fried and True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts

by Rick Rodgers, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
 
Let's admit it. Deep down, everybody loves deep-fried food. Fried and True is the ultimate cookbook for anyone with a naughty food fetish, anyone who's not afraid to throw caution to the wind and relish a crunchy egg roll, succulent fried chicken, or golden onion rings. Glorious fried foods are found all around the world, in every cuisine, and together they

Overview

Let's admit it. Deep down, everybody loves deep-fried food. Fried and True is the ultimate cookbook for anyone with a naughty food fetish, anyone who's not afraid to throw caution to the wind and relish a crunchy egg roll, succulent fried chicken, or golden onion rings. Glorious fried foods are found all around the world, in every cuisine, and together they constitute some of the world's most delectable dainties. In Fried and True, you'll find an international collection, including everything from Potato Latkes to Glittering Spiced Walnuts and Zucchini Blossoms in Chardonnay Batter. Filled with glorious photographs, Fried and True is your ticket to the good life-and you won't need any special equipment. Any deep pan will do. Detailed step-by-step instructions, safety tips, and healthful cooking hints round out this complete guide to expert frying. From appetizers to desserts, add a little crisp and crunch to your day with the fine flavors in Fried and True.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811816069
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
12/01/1998
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


small fry

snacks, nibbles & little bites

    Saratoga Potato Chips with Caramelized Shallot Dip 18 · Mozzarella Cubes on Spaghetti Sticks with Pizzaola sauce 21 · Root Vegetable Chips with Roasted Garlic Dip 22 · Little Meatballs with Salsa Verde 25 · Rice Crips with Peanut-Lime Dipping Sauce 26 · Tostaditas with Ancho Salsa Roja 28 · Glittering Spiced Walnuts 30 · Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple-Mustard Dip 32 · Parmesan Pasta Nibbles 33 · Pork and Shrimp Balls with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce 34


Saratoga Potato Chips with Caramelized Shallot Dip


Caramelized Shallot Dip

Vegetable shortening or oil for deep-frying
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Saratoga Potato Chips

1 pound baking (Idaho or russet) potatoes, peeled
Vegetable shortening or oil for deep-frying or leftover shortening from shallots, above
Salt for serving


The ultimate deep-fried snack? I nominate potato chips with onion dip. Legend says that potato chips were invented by a Saratoga Springs, New York, chef in the mid-1850s, when he had to get a potato side dish on the table fast. Onion dip, stirred together from instant soup mix and sour cream, has been a party staple since the 1950s. But nothing beats homemade potato chips and a from-scratch version of the outré dip, made with deep-friedshallots. You'll need a mandoline to cut the potatoes to the proper paper-thin thickness.


1 To make the dip: Line a jelly roll pan with crumpled paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 350°F. If you have a frying basket to fit the Dutch oven, place the shallots in the basket. Deep-fry the shallots until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove from the shortening (if you aren't using a basket, use a wire-mesh skimmer) and transfer to paper towels to drain until cool. (You may use the same shortening to fry the potato chips, but if there are small pieces of shallots floating in it, remove them. If necessary, carefully strain the shortening through a wire strainer into another pan, then return it to the Dutch oven.)


2 In a small bowl, combine the shallots, sour cream, chives, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend the flavors.


3 To make the chips: Using a mandoline, cut the potatoes into paper-thin rounds. As they are cut, place them in a bowl of cold water and let stand while heating the shortening.


4 Place a large wire cake rack over a jelly roll pan. Fill a roasting pan with crumpled paper towels for draining the fried chips. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 350°F.


5 Drain the potatoes well. Line a work surface with paper towels and spread with 1 layer of potatoes. Separate each new layer of potatoes with more paper towels and pat the potatoes completely dry.


6 In separate batches, without crowding, deep-fry the potatoes, stirring often with a wire-mesh strainer to separate the chips, until the chips are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using the skimmer, transfer the chips to the wire rack to drain briefly, then move them to the paper towels to remove excess oil. Separate each new layer of chips with more paper towels. The potato chips will crisp as they cool, and are best served at room temperature within 6 hours of frying. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt. Serve with the shallot dip.

Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings

Don't salt deep-fried foods until just before serving, or the salt will make the food soggy,


Mozzarella Cubes on Spaghetti Sticks with Pizzaola Sauce


Pizzaola Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes


Mozzarella Cubes

1 pound mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, cut into thirty-six
1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup dried Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

About 10 strands spaghetti, broken into thirty-six 3-inch lengths
Vegetable shortening or oil for deep-frying


When I was catering, I passed countless hors d'oeuvres, many of them speared with toothpicks so they would be easy for the guests to pick up. I quickly tired of collecting the used toothpicks, and devised an edible toothpick in the form of a deep-fried spaghetti stick. What better way to illustrate this innovation than golden breaded mozzarella cubes served with an oregano-and-garlic-scented tomato sauce?


1 To make the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. (The sauce can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.)


2 To make the cubes: Preheat the oven to 200°F Line one baking sheet with waxed paper, and another baking sheet with paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 365°F.


3 Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in another shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl. One at a time, roll each mozzarella cube in the flour, dip in the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs. Set aside on the waxed paper.


4 Deep-fry the spaghetti until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to the paper towels to drain and cool. In batches, without crowding, deep-fly the mozzarella cubes until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using the skimmer, transfer to the paper towels and keep warm in the oven while frying the rest.


5 To serve, spear each cube with a spaghetti stick. Serve immediately, with a bowl of the warm sauce for dipping.

Makes 36 cubes (4 to 6 appetizer servings)


Root Vegetable Chips with Roasted Garlic Dip


Roasted Garlic Dip

1 large head garlic, with firm, plump cloves
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup sour cream


Root Vegetable Chips

11/2 pounds assorted root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, beets, lotus roots, and taro
Vegetable shortening or oil for deep-frying


Carrots, parsnips, beets, taro, and lotus root all make chips that are not only delicious, but colorful, to boot. Make an assortment, and you'll have a rainbow in a bowl. The ricotta-garlic dip is the perfect partner, and one of the most-requested standards from my extensive dip-spread repertoire.


1 To make the dip: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the garlic in half horizontally, keeping the head as intact as possible—do not peel the garlic. Drizzle the cut surfaces with the oil and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put the two halves back together to re-form the garlic head. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Bake until the garlic is tender and the cloves have turned golden beige, 35 to 45 minutes. Unwrap the garlic and let cool completely. Squeeze the garlic pulp out of the skins into a small bowl, discarding the skins.


2 Using a fork, mash the garlic pulp until smooth. Stir in the ricotta, Parmigiano, and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to blend the flavors. (The dip can be prepared 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Let it come to room temperature before serving.)


3 To make the chips: Using a mandoline or plastic V-slicer, cut the root vegetables as directed below. The slices should be almost paperthin, less than 1/16 inch. As the vegetables are sliced, place each kind in a separate large bowl of cold water and let stand for 30 minutes to remove excess starch.


Carrots and parsnips: Peel and cut lengthwise into very thin strips.

Beets: Rub your hands lightly with vegetable oil to keep the beet juices from staining your skin. Peel the beets and cut crosswise into very thin rounds.

Lotus roots: These can be found at Asian grocers, and make very interesting chips with random holes throughout. Peel and cut crosswise into very thin rounds.

Taro: Also known as yautia, this root vegetable can be purchased at Latino and Asian markets. Fried taro chips have a slight purple tinge. Peel and cut crosswise into very thin rounds.


4 Drain the vegetables well. Spread them out between layers of paper towels and pat completely dry.


5 Place a large wire cake rack over a jelly roll pan. Fill a large roasting pan with a double thickness of crumpled paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 350°F.


6 In separate batches, without crowding, deep-fry the vegetables, stirring often with a wire-mesh skimmer to separate the chips, until the chips are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. (If you are frying beets, fry them last, as their color may leach into the oil.) Using the skimmer, transfer the chips to the wire racks to drain briefly, then move them to the roasting pan with paper towels to remove excess oil. Separate each new layer of chips with more paper towels. The chips will crisp as they cool, and are best served at room temperature within 6 hours of frying. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with the ricotta dip.


Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings


Little Meatballs with Salsa Verde


Salsa Verde

1/2 cup packed chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
11/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
11/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Little Meatballs

2 cups fresh bread crumbs (prepared in a blender or food processor from slightly stale bread)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
8 ounces ground round (15 percent lean)
8 ounces Italian pork sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Vegetable shortening or oil for deep-frying


These aren't the average meatballs served with a tomato sauce, but were created as an antipasto to be dipped in salsa verde, a piquant Italian parsley sauce. Both the meatballs and sauce can be prepared ahead of serving, but don't coat the meatballs until ready to fry them.


1. To make the salsa: In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except the oil. With the machine running, gradually add the oil through the cover opening until the sauce is smooth and thick. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and let stand for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. (The salsa can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Serve at room temperature.)


2 To make the meatballs: Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, t egg, and the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the ground round, sausage, cheese, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix with your hands until well combined. Using a heaping teaspoonful for each, form into balls and place on waxed paper. You should have about 36 bite-sized meatballs.


3 Place the remaining 11/2 cups bread crumbs in a deep plate, in another deep plate, whisk the remaining 2 eggs until well beaten. One at a time, dip the meatballs in the eggs, then coat with the bread crumbs, patting to make the crumbs adhere. Return to the waxed paper.


4 Line another baking sheet with paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 365°F In batches, without crowding, deep-fry the meatballs until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to the paper towels. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the salsa verde.


Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings


Rice Crisps with Peanut-Lime Dipping Sauce


Rice Crisps

1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water


Peanut-Lime Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup homemade or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili paste with garlic

Vegetable shortening or oil for deep-frying


Asian cooks want a thick crust of rice to form on the bottom of the cooking pot, because they know it can be fried into a crunchy snack. While many Asian grocers carry rice crusts (about 3 inches square, not to be confused with rice cakes) for frying, a recipe comes in handy. If you make your own, you'll need to start a day before you want to eat the crisps. Served with a Thai-inspired peanut sauce and a cold beer, these are easy to eat by the bucketful.


1. To make the rice crisps the day before serving: In a medium, heavy saucepan (preferably nonstick and 9 inches in diameter), bring the rice, salt and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and absorbs all the liquid, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until the rice dries into crust that pulls away from the sides of the saucepan, about 1 hour. Let the rice crust cool in the pan.


2. Using a blunt knife, pry the crust out of the saucepan, trying to keep it intact. Place on a wire cake rack and let stand in a turned-off gas oven until completely dry, at least 8 hours and preferably overnight. Or, heat an electric oven at its lowest setting for 10 minutes, then turn it off before placing the rice inside. (If the weather is humid or damp, dry the rice out more quickly by occasionally turning the oven on its lowest setting for 5 minutes, then turning it off.) The rice should be dried out, but not toasted. Cut the rice crust into 11/2-inch squares, discarding any crumbs, and set aside.


3. To make the dipping sauce: Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to blend the flavors. (The sauce will thicken on standing. If necessary, thin with additional broth or water.)


4. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 365ºF. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In batches, without crowding, deep-fry the rice crust squares until puffed and golden, about 3 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to the paper towels to drain. Let cool completely. (The crisps can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead, stored uncovered at room temperature.) Serve the crisps with the dipping sauce.


Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings

Meet the Author

Rick Rodgers is a well-known cookbook author, cooking teacher, and radio and television guest chef. He is the author of several cookbooks, and his recipes have been featured in such publications as Food & Wine and Woman's Day. He lives in New Jersey.

Christopher Hirsheimer is an executive editor at Saveur. Her photographs have appeared in many books and magazines, including Asian Noodles and Saveur Cooks Authentic American. She lives in Pennsylvania.

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