« Home | When the mature bird proves to be much more attrac... » | Shortcuts to a Latino Christmas » | Cookie master: Five easy steps to holiday-baking p... » | A Life in the Culinary Front Lines » | How long can meat be safely frozen? » | Deveining Shrimp » | A bowl of Mexican soup » | Just Spuds? » | Turkey tales and other Thanksgiving mishaps » | Houston and Arizona Thanksgiving Links » 

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 

Come fry with me

Fritto misto, the crisp and golden 'mixed fry' that's an Italian staple, is popping up at restaurants all over L.A. -- and it's perfect for a cocktail party.

By Donna Deane, Times Staff Writer

Maybe you love perfect thin-sliced onion rings, those seriously flavored, crisp-coated tangles. Maybe you're a tempura fan, delighting in the tender, buttery texture of a thin, lightly fried slice of winter squash in its delicate golden brown wrapping.
Some tips on preparing:
  • Cut vegetables and seafood into pieces small enough to cook through completely without burning on the outside.
  • Heat the oil while you're preparing the ingredients. Dip them in milk or buttermilk, then flour or semolina or bread crumbs. Arrange the dredged vegetables and seafood on a tray so they are ready for frying.
  • A countertop fryer is a wonderful tool and the easiest route. Its thermostatic control maintains the temperature of the oil throughout the frying process.
  • Peanut oil is one of the best oils to use for frying because of its high smoke point. Pure olive oil, safflower oil, grape seed oil and corn oil are also good choices.
  • Cook similarly sized pieces that will have similar cooking times in the same batch. Add just a few items at a time to the hot oil. Don't overload the fryer.