Saturday, June 13, 2009

Our Deep Fat Fryer Makes a Double Appearance

One of Lauren's co-workers told her that "your life is just one big block party". Well, maybe he's right. We kicked off our weekend with wine night at the dog park . . . a new Friday tradition where a few choice bottles of red and white are discretely served up in plastic cups while our furry friends tumble and bark and chase.

At sunset, we shifted the fun back to our place where we fired up the grill for gourmet burgers and decided to dust of the deep fat fryer to make its first appearance of the summer. Mmmm . . . onion rings.

We opted for Rachel Ray's Tempura Onion Rings recipe. The onions were soaked in ice water for 15 minutes prior to coating them with a simple batter of flour, baking powder, corn starch, and ice water. Once coated, they went immediately into the fryer.

This recipe yielded light and crispy rings where the onion could shine as tasty co-star. Either directly on the burgers or as a complement, our guests loved them.

Waking up to Saturday morning meant staring down a few dishes and of course the fryer. Since it is always much more fun to use than to clean and put away, I was inclined heat that oil one more round. With Lauren still slumbering away I began searching the internet for Buttermilk Bar doughnut recipes, her absolute favorite. I landed on La Fuji Mama's blog post for buttermilk donut holes from just a few day's earlier. I'm not going to repost the recipe because I tried to dutifully follow LFM's instructions and she calls out that her recipe was an adaption of Bringham Young's buttermilk doughnut recipe, so please refer to these more authoritative sources.

The flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg (freshly grated!) were combined and set aside. The buttermilk, egg, and melted butter were whisked together then mixed with the dry ingredients forming a loose dough. At this point I didn't realize that I forgot to add the 3/4 cup of sugar . . . whoops!

The hot frying oil (375 deg F) received small spoonfuls of dough and started to crack and brown, just not as much as they should have. Luckily a doughnut expert appeared and immediately identified my error. Rather than start over, I opted to go free form add and knead in additional sugar. With additional sugar, the buttermilk bites browned more and had the much needed sweetness to balance with the buttermilk.

Buttermilk bite mistake without sugar (left) and reworked with sugar (right)

The final step was to roll the warm buttermilk bites in sugar and enjoy! Too much for just us, we walked them around to the neighbors to share. Now, time to clean the fryer . . .