Fry, baby

snackThere are few things that improve on Troy Polamalu. Deep-frying is one. We made sweet potato chips for the Steelers-Cardinals game, dipped them in garlic hummus and eased their path with Anchor Steam porter while Polamalu disassembled the Baltimore Ravens. Sweet.

The Cool Daddy fryer was a Christmas present. I didn’t exactly ask Santa for it, but I’ve talked enough about frying off chips and fritters at the Hilton and the extraordinary taste that the need (?) was obvious. Okay, the want(!).

Meanwhile, inside my brain, my inner Nutrition Nun had a hissy fit.

So imagine my surprise when I started googling deep-frying and nutrition and all I got back was bloviation about How Awful and No Nay Never, with not much data. Then when I was finished frying the chips, there was as much oil in the pot as I put there in the beginning. So the sweet potatoes did not absorb vast quantities. Huh.

Making chips is about as simple as it gets with frying, but even so we checked some recipe sites … and found weirdness about breading the vegetables. Breading is exactly my objection to deep-frying, because I want to taste the food, not the bread crumbs.

La Tartine Gourmande cleared it up with a quick discussion of Root Vegetable Chips.

Now, you might find the whole deep frying project messy, and hard, but it really isn’t. Not only making chips is easy, but it requires next to nothing – and this is coming from someone who does not do it often. You need a pot deep enough to fry (of course, a deep fryer is always good to have, but not necessary), frying oil, and a good Chef’s knife (or a mandoline, or a turning vegetable slicer). The rest is just fun, especially the eating part as you go along. Impossible to resist nibbling on chips while you are making them.



The Cool Daddy fryer is not at all like the open basket fryers you see in a commercial kitchen. It’s a closed system. That’s good because you don’t get splashed with hot oil, bad because you can’t see or sense the cooking as well or turn the food as easily. What made me like it for home use is that a typical commercial open fryer is built in at hip height — in your house, it would sit on top of a counter and you’d have to stand on a chair to get the right angle.

I fryed off four batches of chips at different cooking times because I couldn’t see the color well enough through the window on the machine. The 8-minute batch was pretty well  burned, the 7-minute batch was a bit lighter, and the best came at 5-6  minutes. Once they’re out of the oil, dusted with salt and resting on a paper towel, they crisp up nicely.

Hard to resist? Yeah.


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