What’s not to love in food that has been fried? The crispy texture, the delicate and delicious morsel waiting inside, the crunch of the bite, and the beautiful golden brown color of the food all leave my mouth watering for more.
I know, home food frying is messy. It’s a production that leaves the house smelling like a diner. But given a little time and the right tools and techniques, the eating rewards can be very satisfying.
After many batches of greasy donuts or burnt clam fritters, I’ve learned that the fry oil is key. Use mild-tasting, high-heat oil and keep it hot. If the oil is too cool, the food absorbs the grease. Oil too hot burns that nice crispy outside before the food has a chance to completely cook.
We like to use an electric skillet dedicated to frying food for easy temperature control. A heavy pot on the stovetop with a good thermometer works too. Or if your family’s passion is to fry together, consider a deep fryer.
A recent Bon Appetit magazine on the case for frying at home inspired the recipe for Home Fried Food. The batter is prepared with a combination of all purpose and rice flours, which produces a light, crispy, crackly crust. It was delicious on our cucumber wedges, cherry tomatoes, onion and pepper rings, and Maine sea scallops. We ate every bite.
If your tribe is seeking a fun family adventure, I highly recommend cooking together. Choose a good block of time. Let everyone help prepping the ingredients to fry: vegetables, pickles, fruits, seafood, chicken or more. Batter up and enjoy!
Home Fried Foods
- Some Fry Indredients Include:
- Maine scallops: cut in half if very large
- Fish: Haddock smelts, trout
- Onion: cut into rounds
- Sweet potato: cut into wedges or French fry shape
- Summer Squash or Zucchini: cut into wedges or rounds
- Cucumber: cut into wedges or rounds
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Potatoes: your favorite size fry shape
- Tofu: cut into cubes or French fry shape
- Fry Batter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup rice flour *
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 – 12 ounce can seltzer
- Makes about 2 ½ cups batter enough for 1 pound food pieces
- Assemble ingredients and tools. Fill an electric fry pan or a heavy deep pot on the stovetop with fry oil that is about 2-inches deep. Heat the oil to 370 degrees. Line a sheet pan with paper towels, and set a rack over the pan. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees to keep the food warm as you fry.
- Gather your fry ingredients and cut them into pieces. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder and sea salt. Pour the can of seltzer water in the bowl, whisking the batter consistently, until you have a smooth batter.
- Working in batches, dip pieces of the food in the batter, shake off the excess, and slide the pieces into the hot oil.
- Turn the food occasionally, and cook until golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon or metal spider, remove the food to the rack and let drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Keep the cooked food warm by slipping the pan into the 250-degree oven.