I picture a scene from a cheesy war movie with the German officer preparing to torture the downed pilot. "Herr Pedersen, we have someone here you've been avoiding for a long time. His name is Frying. Deep Frying."
Deep frying. Kitchen fires. Unhealthy food. Oil to dispose of. Improperly fried food turning into a grease slick. Yeah, that deep frying. Did I mention kitchen fires? Greasy french fries. Overcooked chicken. Odors that stay around for days. Oily mist over the entire kitchen. Plus, the risk of kitchen fires. Who needs it?
I don't. Except I do.
One of the things that drives my kitchen adventures is the possibly baseless belief that I'm better off making for myself those foods that aren't good for me but which I can't lay aside completely.
And, every once in a while, I really-really-really want doughnuts.
And, while there are recipes for baked doughnuts, seriously: doughnuts are fried.
And, tonight, I made some. Sort of, anyway.
(I have deep-fried once before, the target food being tofu. I like tofu, prepared well, but that's hardly what deep-frying is for, now, is it?)
I think I'll spare you the saga of my search for a recipe and why I chose the one I did. But I settled on Orange Sugar Fried Doughnut Holes, from Food Network host Sunny Anderson.
I think I'll also spare you the play-by-play. But I didn't start any fires. And the doughnut holes were tasty. And, mixing orange zest into the sugar is a neat trick.
I will tell you that I'll be obtaining a doughnut cutter and that I don't intend on using pre-made biscuit dough again if I can avoid it. It's just not right.
But I deep-fried.
"You see, Herr Pedersen? It is YOU that have your methods."
This is a repost of a piece I wrote recently for my cooking blog, Beginner's Skillet. The "recipe" I describe is (if you like avocado) is, I think, an easy way to have something fabulous just for yourself. I find it a perfect midnight snack. And, at somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 carbs per avocado, it's even a healthy choice for many. The title of the original post was "Beginner's Notebook: Still Life With Avocado."
OK, here's what you're going to do. Next time you go grocery shopping, you're going to take a quick peek in your refrigerator to make sure you have a little lemon juice or a fresh lemon. (I think lime juice would also work.) Then, when you get to the store, you'll go to the produce section and check out the avocados.
The avocado you want is ripe but not overly so. If you're new to this, the one you want will give a bit to gentle pressure but not feel squishy. (GENTLE pressure - no need to harm anything.) For this application, a little squishy is okay.
When you get home with your prize, you're going to cut it in half lengthwise, working around the large pit in the middle. You'll then rotate one half against the other, and one of the two halves will be freed from the pit.
There are a number of suggested methods for removing the pit from the other half, most of which have the potential for serious injury. I sometimes use one of those, but often I just work around the with a spoon. (I deal with more avocados than most home cooks, I'd guess. Two - and now three - of my favorite things to make include them. See here and here.)
Next, put your avocado halves on a plate. Salt them and drizzle them with lemon juice. Then just eat those suckers, scooping bites out with a spoon.
I did this for the first time 20 minutes ago, and that first bite was A Moment. The tartness of the juice perfectly balanced the unctuousness of the avocado, one of those great combinations of acid and oil. (Think salad dressings, or pickles on cheeseburgers, or ketchup on french fries.)
If I had a rating scale for how much I wanted you to try something, this would be WAY up there.
You could argue that this isn't even cooking. Fine. But it is most certainly eating.