Fear of Frying
When I decided to write a food blog about Latin food, I knew this day would come. I can’t blame the blog. I’d been looking for an excuse to buy a deep fat fryer since I came across this best of list in Food & Wine last year. When a top appliance pick is also the most economical, my mind goes blank and I don’t come to until I’m punching in the three digit security code on the back of my credit card.
I’d avoided it this long because I believed my deep fear of frying was the only thing keeping me safe from the sleeping Cuban monster inside me. The monster that will fry anything that can’t fry it first. Apart from small batches of plantains or potatoes, I mostly avoid deep frying. I’m never quite sure of the temperature, so everything comes out uneven and random pops from the pan sends me scurrying. But now churros, empanadas, and croquetas aren’t just temptations to be indulged in moderation, they’re research. So today, after 3-5 business days, the Amazon stork delivered my deep fat fryer, and it’s an entirely different kind of monster.
While I am sure it would be perfectly normal for a suburban kitchen, it looks enormous in my small Brooklyn apartment. According to the instructions, it wants a minimum 14 cups of oil. Minimum! I keep going back to the kitchen to check on it about every 20 minutes as though I expect it to have gotten smaller, or bigger, or sprouted a head and transformed itself into a robot. Nevertheless, I plan on putting it to use this weekend and will report. I should probably be sensible and send it back for a smaller model. The problem is that it’s just so ungainly and awkward that I’m starting to love it a little.
oh man – i’m so excited to see you use your fryer! i have a gift certificate that i’m waiting to use and am having trouble between a deep fryer and an ice cream maker. please tell me if you love yours!
I used it this weekend to make food for my sister’s picnic (Cooking with Celia). I haven’t mastered it yet but I wouldn’t have even tried to make empanadas and croquetas for that many people without it. Everything also came out much more even and less oily than if I’d fried it in small batches. Plus I’m a deep frying disaster so it was a relief to have it over and done in minutes.