5. "A Root, a Fruit, and a Stem Get Fried"
The ability to fry different fruits and vegetables is one of the magnificent triumphs of human evolution. It’s also even better when you don’t fry your food in animal fats. The textures produced, a crisp crust and airy insides, make nearly any food 1000x more desirable.
Bronson agrees on this point in his breakdown of some wonderful fried dishes: maduros, tostones, fried yuca (or cassava), and french fries. All are simply fried fruits or vegetables that can make for amazing dipping experiences.
The first two are made with plantains, at different periods of ripeness: ripe and sweet for maduros, or unripe and starchy for the tostones.
Yuca is a root that's poisonous if uncooked, but gets a crust beyond compare when fried up after being boiled.
And trust that these french fries are not typical fast food, either. A triple frying method gets used with differing oil temperatures to achieve the best possible texture in the fry. Action was taught to use duck fat for this method, but peanut oil is as flavorful and way more cruelty free, so try that out!
Let this week's edition of FTV?! be a testament to the idea that you can never try too many fried fruit and veggie dishes.
5-6 russet potatoes
Cut potatoes into desired fry size. Soak in a bowl of ice water for at least 15 minutes. Pat completely dry. Fry potatoes in 250°F peanut oil first for maybe 7 minutes. Take out and place on paper towl. Heat oil to 300°F and return potatoes to oil for 5 more mins. Drain again on paper towel, then refrigerate for at least 15-30 mins before frying again. When ready for the final fry, heat oil to 375°F. Fry until desired shade of golden-brown. If you don't have a thermometer (as we did not) you can try using visual cues to see when the oil is around the right temperature.
1 yuca (a.k.a cassava)
Peel yuca, then cut in half. Pull the core out of center and discard. Cut into sticks. Boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain of moisture. Fry in sunflower or other vegetable oil until golden.
2 plantains, ripe and browning
Peel plantains. Slice diagonally to about 1/4 inch thickness. Fry in shallow oil until golden (about 5 minutes), flipping halfway.
2 plantains, green and unripe
Peel plantains with the help of a knife. Cut into 1 inch segments. Fry over medium heat for about 6 minutes, flipping halfway through with tongs. Use the bottom of a mug or pan to flatten each piece. Place back into fryer for 4 minutes total, flipping after 2.
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