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Fry Some, Eat One

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Mom and Dad gifted us with a deep-fryer this past Christmas, and during this week’s snowstorm I finally had an opportunity to try it out. I’ve been frying things over the years, to mostly disastrous results. I never used a thermometer to check the temperature, so it was either too cold or way too hot. The trick, from what I read, is to make sure that food items get cooked quickly enough to get a crunchy exterior, while not taking in too much oil. That largely happens when you have the temperature and the timing correct. (I can still remember the night I almost burned the Boston condo down trying my hand at fried chicken. I thought the trickiest part would be the paper bag shake, but it was really how to navigate the spattering oil and thick smoke that had the smoke detector exhausted by the time it was all over. The worst part was that the chicken, even with its perfect buttermilk dressing, was burnt on the outside and bloody on the inside.)

The deep fryer fixed all those flaws, maintaining its temperature and still staying spatter-free. The potatoes I’d cut up went in and started bubbling like you see on the cooking shows, and after a few minutes they came out perfectly golden (or as Gram liked to say, good and brown). It was a rare culinary success, and I hurriedly sprinkled them with sea salt before they cooled. Served with an aioli and ketchup, they were reminiscent of the fries I’ve had at Five Guys, so I’d say I pulled it off. Next adventure: fried artichoke hearts. Wish me luck.

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