Monday, September 25, 2006

Tips for Frying

I found these in the book "How To Read A French Fry..and Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science" by Russ Parsons.

*To avoid oil going rancid, use the freshest possible oil and store it in a dark, cool place. Try to keep oil in a container that is just big enough to hold it, to minimize exposure to oxygen.
*Preserve the quality of your cooking oil by making sure that it stays as clean as possible and by cooking in a pot that is narrower than it is tall to limit the oil's exposure to oxygen.
*Frying temperature should remain between 350-375 degrees to get the optimum results.
*Don't salt batters. The salt can fall out of the batter and speed the breakdown of the oil. Instead, salt food before the batter goes on and then again after the food has been fried.
*Deep frying is best for small pieces of food. Big pieces take too long to cook and will burn on the outside. Only very tender foods should be deep fried.
*To get a really browned crust, use a batter with amino acids and/or sugars. Eggs are high in protein and will work well. Beer has both protein and sugars and will brown even better.
*Keep liquid batters ice-cold to improve their adherence to the food.
*If you deep-fry a lot, it's worth keeping a little old oil in the pantry. Adding a tablespoon or so of old oil per cup of fresh will improve the way it cooks.
*Use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature. Set it so the bulb is just above the bottom of the pan and not touching it. If you don't have a thermometer, drop in a small piece of bread. It should begin sizzling immediately and will become light brown in 5-10 seconds.

*Remove as much moisture from the surface of the food to be fried as possible.
*Blanch tougher vegetables in boiling water first so they will cook through.
*Salt meat before sauteing, drawing the juices to the surface to caramelize and brown.
*Make sure the oil is hot enough that when you add the food, you get a good sizzle.
*When you see beads of what looks like blood at the top of sauteing meat, it's a good time to turn.

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