Doughnut and deep frying advice
I am co-hosting a superbowl party tomorrow...a bunch of people will be there. A friend and I recently bought a deep fryer and we're hoping to deep-fry lots of stuff....we're definitely gonna do some french fries, fried yuca and maybe some sweet potato fries, and we also might experiment with crazier things like fried snickers bars, fried pickles etc.....so Part A of this post is to ask if anyone has any good, relatively easy suggestions for good fried food. I think we'll probably stick to non-meat items. We are new to deep frying, but we're willing to experiment with whatever.
Part B: I want to make some type of donut. If it's easy enough, I'd like to make some type of yeast donut since I tend to like those better....I think it would probably be okay if it were in the realm of beignet or fried dough too.....but a classic donut recipe would also be fun. Texture wise, I'm looking for soft and fluffy (so not a cake donut). If people think this is too hard or have great recipes for other things, I might do that instead. But are there any good, simple donut recipes that would fit the bill?
I found this post, and Jackie's recipe for Ole Bolen looks really good....not sure if these would be the soft texture I like, but they'd probably be delicious. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/276719
Thanks in advance for any advice, I'll definitely report back,
Want something super easy? Buy some frozen french fries. You'll be shocked how much better they are when deep fried rather than baked. Avoid the brands with lots of extra stuff . Buy cheap ones (watch out for old bags with lots of frost inside) made with just potatoes and oil, they tend to give better results. Many are coated with dextrose to make them darken, but may cook up too dark in deep fat.
Avoid doing anything with a crumb/breading coating or else your fat will quickly become a mess.
A quick way to do a yeast doughnut is make a Zepoli kind of thing. Buy bread or pizza dough, allow it to come to room temp, cut into chunks, let it rise a bit, deep fry, and coat with powdered sugar (or cinnamon sugar).
For wings, I recommend fresh (not those chemical injected frozen party wings). The skin has the best texture (crisp) if you fry them with no coating at all. Apply seasonings afterwards (buffalo sauce (basically hot sauce and butter), or dry seasoning like Old Bay). You will get better results if you fry the drumettes in separate batches from the two bone part of the wing since the drumettes cook faster.
Make a decent simple batter (start with water, salt, flour and expand), and do all sorts of fried veg like onion rings and fried mushrooms. Zucchini is hard to do because it's so wet.
Make a simple beer batter. 1 C beer, 1 C Flour, 1 egg, seasoning. I use this to deep fry zuchinni, but I bet it would work with other vegetables and other stuff.
Also, some frozen, breaded shrimp. They aren't all the junk they used to be.
Sweet potato fries are great. We fry them stovetop in a skillet or pot, but it's always just for 2 or 3 people. Anyhow, good idea.
A Greek "doughnut" (kind of a cross between a beignet & a doughnut hole) covered in powdered sugar, cinnamon & sugar, or honey is good. (I think the traditional Greek is honey, but my family has always done a variety). You'll find it spelled a variety of ways, depending on the source (loukoumades, loukomathes, etc.) You can make them with yeast (plenty of recipes online) or a box mix. The quickest, easiest (not necessarily tastiest but no one ever complains!!) louks are make from canned biscuits. If you do that, buy the non-flaky kind. Cut in quarters and drop into oil. They'll generally pop over on their own once the underside is finished cooking. Any that you plan to sugar should be dropped into a brown paper sack before they cool and shaken up with the sugar or cinnamon sugar.
Sorry it took so long to report back, but the frying was a great success.
We started out with some hand cut chips: potato, sweet potato and taro. The sweet potato ones were my favorites by far, though it was all pretty tasty and exciting. This was our first run with this new deep fryer.
Next came some frozen, pre-made egg rolls from the Asian market. These fried really well, and they were a bit greasy, but very comparable to many restaurant egg rolls. Obviously homemade would have been way better here.
After this was through, we cleaned out the fryer and fried doughnuts with a fresh batch of oil. I had made the dough earlier, I used a basic yeast donut recipe from my friend's cookbook (forget which one), and they came out really really good. Check out the picture below. We dipped them in cinnamon and sugar. I wished that the doughnuts could have been a bit lighter and fluffier, since they were sometimes slightly dense and pretzel like. But no one was complaining, they were overall pretty awesome.
Thanks again to all for the advice, I'll report future frying adventures here as well...ciao