Hey there friends! I got a deep fryer!!! I’m so excited, I used a gift card from Christmas to get myself a “Grand Pappy – Fry Daddy” model deep fryer. It’s essentially a non-stick bucket with heating element. My Dad has the regular size version and I always liked it, and I’m quite enamored with it’s big brother. It’s really not all that big, it only takes about 6 cups of oil (which only cost me $2.85!) and you can use the oil multiple times if you strain it out in between uses and store it somewhere cool. I’m planning on showing you everything I get out of one batch of oil.
Alright class, so today’s topic is Three Stage Frying. This is the basic technique for cutlets of meat, veggies and a variety of other happy, fried goods! Maybe even something for the SuperBowl tomorrow? Today I ‘Three Stage Fried’ both balls of leftover mac’n’cheese and zucchini sticks, and they were glorious. Sorry, no prices today as I am frying up mostly leftovers and bits of things in the fridge that needed to be used up. I’d be willing to bet that it’s all a lot cheaper than ordering this stuff at a restaurant though!
The Three Stages are as follows: #1) Seasoned flour #2) egg and milk bath #3) bread crumbs. You just gently coat your goodies in each of these things in turn, shaking off any excess, and then you drop them into hot oil. Then the magic will happen. The key to the magic is having everything prepped out and ready.
Phase one of being prepared is what I like to think of as ‘software’ or ingredients. First off, prepare all your base ingredients that are going to be fried.
Second, get your ‘Three Stages’ ready. It’s a good idea to use bigger bowls than you think you’ll need. I quickly realized the error of using that tiny bowl for bread crumbs in the picture below and switched to something bigger. Just to repeat, first flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper, whole eggs and milk whisked up together, and breadcrumbs.
Phase 2 is your ‘hardware’ or equipment. Aside from the fryer (or pot of hot oil) itself you will need a landing spot for your fried goods to drain. I like the traditional cooling rack over newspaper set-up. Turn the cooling rack over so that it touches the newspaper to get maximum grease drainage.
You’ll want a tool for fetching things out of the hot oil. You’ll want to avoid cheap plastic tools. Tongs or a slotted spoon work best for me; wooden chopsticks are good too if you’re a confident chopstick weilder! (I got laughed at by an older, hispanic, co-worker for using chopsticks to fish things out of the fryer at work today.) It’s nice to have a pinch-pot of salt around too for seasoning your food hot out of the oil.
Lastly, and optionally, I like to have my serving plates in a warm oven. ready to hot-hold my fried treasures. 200F is good in my experience.
Now you’re ready to experiment in the laboratory of your kitchen! Deep fry away! How did your creations turn out? Mine were pretty tasty. My fireman is pretty stoked that we got this awesome deep fryer…