Until last week I had never fried anything in my life. I don’t think my mom ever fried anything in my life either. We have always reserved our fried food eating for going out or for the occasional packaged potato or corn chip. I’m hardly a paragon of healthy eating, what with my cheese habit and my beer gut, but the truth is that fried food doesn’t make me feel good. Every six months or so I’ll eat an apple fritter and predictably I’ll feel icky afterwords. I can eat fries once a week, but I have been known to get fry burps afterwords, a real sign that fried food doesn’t agree with me.
I have one frying ambition though- spring rolls. I have made baked spring rolls but I think it makes the wrapping kind of tough. I finally broke down last week and decided to fry some home made spring rolls. Frying is easy, right? You just heat up a bucket-load of oil and throw food into it until it turns golden…
Apparently there’s a learning curve with frying. First of all, I can’t bear the thought of filling any of my pots and pans with inches of oil. What do you do with all that oil when you’re done frying? Do you dump it down the drain? That seems wasteful and also unhealthy for the drain. Do you filter it and save it? Do you make it into oil burning candles? I couldn’t do it. I put about a quarter of an inch of oil in a large frying pan.
I heated it up.
Till it was really hot.
I added some spring rolls which sizzled satisfyingly.
But soon the rolls were frying too quickly and burning a bit.
The kitchen was filling up with a slight smokiness.
The oil was looking a little suspect.
Turns out you should turn your oil down once you have heated it up. I came very close to catching my kitchen on fire. Apparently frying is much more of an art than I imagined. Even if I hadn’t almost made my oil catch fire, the kitchen was filled with fried-smell for hours afterwords. Usually my kitchen smells great after I’ve cooked. How can the smell of fried grease smell so good when you’re eating the food and then smell so very wrong when just the grease smell is left?
I’ve decided that I’m not going to cultivate this kitchen knowledge. I’m going to experiment with rice wraps next. Perhaps I’ll make thin pancakes to eat my spring roll filling with. I make a plum dipping sauce and I want to eat more of it but I need to find a way to eat this without baking or frying. Pancakes might be the ticket!
I think it’s nice to find some things I don’t need to master in the kitchen.