The old fashioned frying fat medium may be made by grinding 5 lbs of beef fat, preferably from around the kidneys, and adding 1 cup of water and one onion, chopped. Cover well and cook at high heat until water boils. This will liberate some fat. Continue covered until you have an inch of fat in the pot then uncover and let the water boil off. Take great care uncovering when there is water in the fat as it will splatter hot grease. Cook on a slow fire until the first sign of browning of the fat. Strain the fat off. This is a frying medium with about a 325 degrees F smoking point. Not very good, but the flavor of products fried in it is excellent. You can add an equal volume of Wesson oil to improve the frying characteristics and still have good flavor, at only a somewhat higher price. Do the same thing with pork fat for lard for making Southern Fried Chicken, Batter Fried Fish, Hushpuppies and the like. By the way, the potato pancake recipe elsewhere in Fonds works well with this friture for shallow frying. You can also shallow fry a big batch lightly and finish in 350 degrees F deep fat. This makes them extra crispy. Some good ideas to remember about deep fat frying. When the fat begins to smoke and froth, it is time to throw it away, clean the fryer and start fresh. Be sure to rinse the kettle well, as soap residues are not good for the friture. The most common reasons for badly fried foods are:
- Overheating the fat. 350-375 degrees F is the normal heat range.
- Keeping it too hot too long, by not turning the heat down when it is not being used.
- Not straining crumbs out after every use. They burn and spoil the fat.
- Letting water get in the fat by not drying the food before frying, or by letting salt get in by salting over the fryer. Too many crumbs or too much flour from breaded foods is not good. Shake them well before frying.
- It is important to keep about a 1-10 ratio of food to fat when frying. Too much food for the amount of fat reduces the temperature of the fat and makes the food greasy. Frying in the proper ratio allows you to replenish the fat absorbed by the food with fresh fat as you go along. Cooking small batches at the right temperature is the fastest way to produce deep fat fried foods, which are at their best as soon as they come out of the fryer. Be sure to drain foods well and blot excess fat. I find paper towels excellent for this use.
Steve's #14 Recipes:
©1996, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007