Everyone fries food. EVERYONE.
I have been saying this every day as I stand over my deep fryer. Frying is one of the world’s oldest and most widely used cooking methods. It doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Rolls) or Churros (Mexican Donuts) or Argentina Empanadas or Jamaican Beef Patties — everyone fries their food!
On Tuesday, I will be showing the Waring Pro Deep Fryer on HSN. This amazing fryer is only available through HSN and it’s a serious piece of machinery! Prior to going on-air, I practice, practice, practice. I get to know my product inside and out, come up with new ideas and recipes, then find new ways to inspire my love for cooking. Lucky for me, I have plenty of friends who enjoy the end results!
I made a huge batch of tempura for my friend Michelle. Tempura is a light and fluffy batter from Japan used to deep fry vegetables and seafood. We made tempura shrimp, green beans, broccoli, onions and sweet potatoes. Michelle whipped up a special mixture of crab rangoon (with freshly grated ginger, green onions, crab meat and cream cheese) and we savored those as well!
On Saturday, Ron came over and I fried up cha gio, delicate and crispy Vietnamese spring rolls. The filling is extremely savory, made from shrimp (or crab meat) ground pork, mushrooms, carrots and onions. The finished spring rolls are served wrapped in crisp, cold, lettuce cups stuffed with cucumbers, carrots, radishes and fresh herbs. I made a special dipping sauce made from lime juice and fish sauce and we enjoyed a scrumptious dinner!
Early this morning (and I do mean EARLY) a friend who shall go un-named was treated to a serving of Scotch Eggs. This “Braveheart Breakfast” is a hard-boiled egg surrounded by a ground breakfast sausage. To say that it goes great with a mug of beer is an understatement. There’s nothing like protein after a night out on the town!
Today, I’m making a fantastic Mediterranean inspired falafel salad (fried chickpea patties) on a bed of greens and drizzled with a tangy tahini dressing. If I feel so inclined, I may actually make my personal favorite: Kluay Kaek (Thai fried bananas). Kluay Kaek are banana slices dipped in coconut batter then fried. Is there anything better than that?
When done correctly, fried food should not be greasy or heavy. In fact, at the right temperature and in the correct amount of time, food submerged in hot oil will repel grease while all the moisture in the food comes out. This is the simple rule of frying: mind your time and temperature. Do that and you’ll know exactly why everyone enjoys moist, juicy, crispy and delicious fried food.
If frying is not performed correctly, you get poorly prepared food, the stuff that is really bad for us. If the oil is too hot, the food can be overcooked or raw in the middle, and if the oil is too cold, the food will be greasy (and you can count on a stomach ache later!)
I think it’s unfortunate that frying gets such a bad wrap — it’s not the cooking method, it’s how we enjoy the food. If you have something fried, balance it with vegetables and healthy proteins, and naturally, watch your portioning.
Being a foodie means being able to enjoy all methods of cooking… and lucky for me, I am surrounded by people who know exactly how to do that.