Warning! Please proceed at your own risk. If you choose to continue on, I commend your bravery. We are about to go on a deep-fried ride together and in the word’s of Colonel Sanders it’s going to be “finger lickin’ good.” With that said, let’s bring in the undisputed King.
I love deep-fried food foods and yet, my experience with fried foods has been limited so far to onion rings, fish & chips and calamari. Recently though, it seems as if frying foods is “en vogue” or at least it is to this “Northerner.” After a recent trip to Alabama, I came home to deep-fried pickles and the Deep-Fried Choir angels sang as I bit into one. They were an absolute treat and I was convinced the beer-batter made it taste as good as it did. It was just so light and cripsy, yet it let the pickle shine through. I was convinced this beer-batter could make anything deep-fried taste amazing! So with the angelic chords of the deep-fried pickles still ringing through my ears, I set off to do some more traditional and experimental deep-frying.
Deep-Fried Experiment #1 – Gummy Bears
If you put a bag of Gummy Bears in front of me, the contents of the bag will disappear, regardless of its size. It seemed like a good idea, but sadly the oil melted the poor little guys to nothing and I was simply left with an empty airy burnt sugar bite of deep-fried nothing. Thanks for sacrificing yourself guys, RIP.
Deep-Fried Experiment #2 – Allsorts Licorice
I had a feeling the Gummy bears would be a failed mission, but I still wanted to see if licorice could be deep-fried. With that in mind, I turned to Allsorts licorice and while they’re not my favorite, they do fall into the “hard” category licorice. Thankfully, the Allsorts did not have the same fate as their bear brethren and they withstood the oil as they more or less held their form. It was actually enjoyable to eat as well. The licorice had become soft and more sweet than its non-deep-fried version.
Deep-Fried Experiment #3 – Jalapeno
This excited me. I’ve had deep-fried jalapeno before and in a word, “magic.” Imagine everything good about a jalapeno, the heat, the crunch, the tingle on your lips and multiply it! With it deep-fried, you get all that plus, an additional crunch and a slightly delayed reaction on your tongue from the heat. They are perfect on their own or of course on a mound of nachos!
Deep-Fried Experiment #4 – Avocado
I’d honestly never thought about deep-frying an avocado until just recently when Pam over at My Mans Belly wrote about avocado fries. Pam’s looked amazing with a simple egg wash and Panko crumbs. I can’t wait to try out her version sometime soon, but not that soon since I ate a lot of fried foods if you’re noticing a trend here. The key is to find a ripe, yet still relatively firm avocado for deep-frying. Surprisingly, the avocado loses nothing in terms of its flavor, it tastes exactly as it should. It was still smooth and rich, but warm and slightly soft with a great texture from the batter. And it’s sort of healthy!
Deep-Fried Experiment #5 – Nutella
Like the Gummy Bears, I wasn’t sure about this one. I knew it had to be frozen though for it to have any chance of working. With trepidation, I placed the frozen Nutella in the deep-fryer and after a very short time in the oil, I rescued it. Unfortunately, it couldn’t withstand the heat so it did shrink considerably. After letting it cool for a few moments, I took a bite and I heard the Deep-Frying Choir sing a sweet sweet tune. The light batter was perfect since it let the Nutella shine through. I encountered Nutella Nirvana when the warm Nutella essentially melt in my mouth. If Nutella could sing, it would sound like this.
Deep-Fried Experiment #6 – Brownie
So this one was supposed to be deep-fried cheesecake that I made for my birthday. It was perfect since it has been kept in the freezer, but I called an audible after seeing what happened to the Nutella. So, I
took off ate the “cheese” portion of the cake because I didn’t think it would handle the oil. Thankfully the “cake” portion of the cheesecake is a great dense brownie-like cake. This turned out incredible! The “brownie” was up for the challenge and then some! The proof…I was smiling as I ate the entire thing. This is worthy of being served anywhere, that’s how great it was!
Deep-Fried Experiment #7 – Hamburger
I’d like to think of this as the “pièce de résistance.” No build-up, just the facts. I thought it would be great and it was! After grilling up my homemade patties packed with blue cheese, Tabasco and honey, in they went into the beer-batter with the bun, of course. I learned a valuable lesson. Deep-fried bread is a brilliant invention all by itself, but adding the deep-fried burger along with it is simply genius. Like you, I’ve seen it on television and scoffed at the notion, but it’s something that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
Needless to say, I went for a long run the day after eating my seven deep-fried experiments. And yes, my yearning for fried foods has waned slightly over the last 24 hours, but I don’t expect that feeling to last too long. In fact, I know the feeling won’t last too long since I’m already thinking of the Mars bar I didn’t get around to on my t0-fry list.
Inspired Beer-Batter For Anything (Recipe adapted from Southern Living – 1,001 Ways to Cook Southern)
- 1 large egg
- 1 (12-oz.) can beer
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- Whisk together egg and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; add 1 1/2 cups flour, and whisk until smooth.
- Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches into a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat to 375 F. (I used a small portable deep-fryer with a lid which prevented oil from splattering everywhere. My suggestion for the skillet or Dutch oven route would be to invest in a splatter screen.)
- Dip item of your choice into batter, allowing excess batter to drip off. Fry in batches, 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Drain and pat dry on paper towels; serve immediately.
Thanks for joining me y’all, I hope there was some finger lickin’ going on.