Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Batter for Frying Vegetables

There is a fun place near us that serves deep fried zucchini spears during the summer months.  You can make them at home for so much cheaper!  I first tasted this recipe in New Zealand on cauliflower.  It was so good, I asked my friend for the recipe, and I have battered a great many things with it since then. 

General Purpose Batter
1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 c. water
garlic and onion powders to taste (opt.)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add egg and water and whisk until smooth. For frying, heat oil in a skillet or deep fryer.  Add chunks of vegetables or other foods to batter.  Using the tines of a fork, lift the food, a piece at a time and let the batter drain back into the bowl for a few seconds, then lower into hot oil and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Some suggestions:  I love this for onion rings, zucchini, and par-boiled cauliflower.  I have used it on fish as well. You could try mushrooms, dill pickle slices etc.  If a vegetable is wet, pat it dry before adding it to the batter, so the batter will stick.  Small vegetables could be added to make fritters, you would just drop teaspoons full of batter to fry them.

A note about oil:  I am of two minds about oil, one is, if you are frying something relatively flat, like the zucchini slices you see here, I will use a skillet with just a bit of oil in the bottom, replenishing it as needed.  If I am frying something odd shaped, I heat oil in the smallest saucepan I own and fry things about 4 pieces at a time.  This way I can make the oil deep without using a lot of oil. Truly, I am a tight wad, and I wouldn't want to throw away a bunch of oil.

In case you would like to know, the dipping sauce we like is equal parts ketchup and mayonnaise with a bit of horseradish, stir until uniform in color.

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