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Fry It, You'll Like It!

Tips and recipes for deep frying food

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Frying has long been a preferred method of cooking in South. Though catfish is tasty baked or broiled, most prefer it battered and fried, with fried hush puppies on the side. Some people won't eat okra any way but fried, then there are the croquettes, fried tomatoes, fried chicken, and a variety of fritters and breads.

Battering and frying unquestionably add fat and calories, but making sure the oil is at the optimum temperature will help keep absorption to a minimum. If your deep fryer doesn't have a temperature indicator, you can test by dropping a cube of crustless white bread in the oil. It should be golden brown in about 60 seconds. While frying, don't crowd foods or the temperature will drop and the food will absorb more oil.

Fry Safely. If your fryer has a thin plastic lid, remove it before plugging the fryer in. Add oil to the deep fryer before plugging it in or turning it on, and if the cord is detachable, plug it into the fryer before plugging it into the wall outlet. Most importantly, keep the fryer and the cord well out of reach of children, and take care when working near the hot oil. Some deep fryers aren't well insulated and get extremely hot to the touch.

High heat, water, and burned food particles break the oil down in time. You probably need to replace your oil with fresh if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Excessive smoking at normal temperatures
  • Strong oil discoloration
  • A rancid smell
  • Excessive foaming around the frying food
  • Filtering the oil with a cooking oil filter or fine-mesh strainer can help keep it fresher, and many cooks store their oil in the refrigerator between uses. Rick Rodgers, author of <i>Fried & True</i>, recommends using new, fresh fat for deep-frying. He also says it should never be stored it in the refrigerator, because the process of chilling then bringing it to room temperature will cause spattering when it's heated. If fat is to be stored, he advises a cool, dark place, where it should keep for up to 3 months.

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    Deep fried chicken nuggets and spicy chicken strips, hush puppies, shrimp, oysters, fish nuggets, onion rings, fried veggies, fritters, croquettes, and much more.

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