Going vegetarian doesn’t need to be difficult. I went vegetarian over twelve years ago and not once did I have a craving for meat. That´s pretty incredible since in the past I was called by my friends,¨Captain BBQ¨ and ¨King Carnivore¨ The only craving I felt was for something fried, like french fries or onion rings. A Weakness For Something Fried!, hot, and a little bit greasy.
I remember when I arrived to Cusco, Peru I saw so much fried food being cooked on the streets. Not just fried potatoes but, pork fried ¨swimming in oil¨, even bread fried in oil. Really, fried bread soaked with oil. Then, when I moved to Mexico, I found the same thing. Everything, fried at low temps and soaked with oil.
The recipes I post are, for the most part simple and can be prepared with common kitchen appliances. The only ¨secrets¨ are the techniques applied, and frying is one kitchen skill that can sometimes be a bit difficult. The two food items that for me are the most difficult to fry are; sliced or cubed eggplant, for eggplant parmigiana or to be used in Indian food, and grated potatoes for hash browns. In both cases the food item acts as a sponge soaking up all the oil I put into the pan.
The ¨secret¨, to frying is the temperature of the oil. When the oil is hot enough, the food item will cook, rather than absorb oil. For the right temperature, 350*F (176*C) seems to be a magic number, but remember, when you add cold potatoes to hot oil, the temperature of the oil will go down quickly. Your job then becomes maintaining an even oil temperature. ¨How do I maintain even temps¨? With the latest digital laser thermometer of course. Really, with this point and shoot laser thermometer I can quickly take the temp. of the oil and adjust from there.
Links to several recipes that will give you that ¨fried fix¨ without a lot of oil. My newest, Chicken Fried Oyster Mushroom Sandwich is really tasty, and then, some of my old favorites, Taquitos, Rolled Tacos, Deep-Fried Zucchini Flowers, and Falafel Patties.
Remember,when you are conscious of your diet, and eat healthy ninety five percent of the time, its OK to ¨treat yourself¨ to french fries or other fried foods, I say, ¨no harm done¨. But likewise, know that if you eat quick food ninety five percent of the time, then eat an apple and think your healthy. Well??…no comment.