Monday, December 8, 2008
Scared to Fry??? Don't Be!!
Spicy Asian Wontons
Good Morning All!!
Here is hoping that it is a sunny and happy morning in your neighborhood!! Well it is Monday, and time for another tip/ trick segment!!
Today we are tackling your fear of frying!!! Let's be honest frying is a scary thing, all of that hot oil inches from your skin, splashes of it flying in the air when you putt your chicken or fries in. I fry often and I am still intimidated by the oil, and yes I have been burned more than once, but it each time it has been my carelessness that has caused the burns!!
The number one rule when frying PAY ATTENTION, this isn't the time to be answering the phone, or answering one of your kids million questions!! This is NOT the time to multi task!!
That being said there are some ways to eliminated or reduce the intimidation factor. The easy way to do this is to go out and buy yourself an actual deep fryer!! Now when selecting a fryer you need to keep a couple of things in mind.
1. The most important of them all, how easy is it going to be to clean. Sure it is easy to pour the oil into the fryer, but you need to remember at some point you will be having to take dirty oil out of that puppy!! My suggestion is to find one that you actually remove the oil cavity and put it in the dishwasher (one of mans BEST inventions). This is the type I have, and it makes cleaning the fryer A LOT easier!!
2. Gauge how much frying you are going to be doing, and what you are going to be frying the most. Like with everything in this day and age you can get fryers from about for about $40 or all the way up to several hundred!! In my case I got the heavy duty professional series, because well I am a foodie and I am constantly cooking!! I fry several times a month from chips to fish!!
3. I find it easier to have a fryer that has a basket that is like what you would find in your local restaurant, a nice big rectangular basket. It allows you to but a decent amount of food in it. So you can do larger batches instead of having to do a million little baskets!!
Alright well lets say a deep fryer is not in your budget, lets face it now people are having to tighten their belts!! You don't need a fancy dancy deep fryer to make your fave crispy chicken. All you need is a large heavy duty stock pot and a thermometer!!
There fryer in the photo is from the Food Network store, visit this link for their selection of fryers: http://www.foodnetworkstore.com/ProductList.aspx?Ntt=deep+friers&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchall&Nty=1&N=0&Ntk=All
Of course your local Target or Sears will also have them!!
Here is what you do to help reduce the splat er factor, i.e the fear of getting burned.
1. Just before you start to fry the food sprinkle about a quarter teaspoon of coarse kosher salt into the oil to help keep it from splattering.
2. Lower food gently into the hot oil, don't drop it from high up. Yes I know what you are thinking you want me to put my fingers close to the 300 plus degree oil?!?!?!? Are you friggin crazy?!??!?! No I am not, thank you very much, the bottom line is the closer you get your little piggies to the oil, the less it will splatter when you are puttin in your chicken leg, i.e. burning risk is reduced!!
3. If you are using tongs, keep them pointed downward to prevent hot oil from dripping down the handles. Yes I know this seems like its a no brainier, but just wait til you are multi tasking and you forget that you just had those tongs in the hot oil....yeah ouch.....been there done that......WHAT ARE U DOING MULTI TASKING??? What was the number one rule PAY ATTENTION!!
So now you got your beautiful crispy juicy chicken all fried up and you are thinkin to yourself well now what do I do with all this oil. Unless you have fried fish in the oil, strain chill, and reuse it for sauteing, NOT for deep frying. Particles that are left over in the oil lower the flash point, so it's potentially unsafe for frying.
The other option for the used oil is to cool the oil, strain into a big glass jar and store it at room temperature. When the jar is full, toss it. Or to be more green call a recycling center to see if it takes wasted vegetable oil.
Well I hope these tips help to make you feel safer in your frying adventures!! I know you can do it, and besides your kids will LOVE you even more if you are able to produce some tasty chicken fingers and fries for them at home!!
Keep safe, and spread the food love!!