Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Last Stand

I am referring to the deep fryers last stand before summer hits! I don't know about the rest of you, but my deep fryer stands alone when temperatures reach above 70, of course with the exception of fried clams that is.
So I wanted to give you a couple recipes that are perfect send-offs to frying in oil that I think just may have you hauling it out one or two more times even when your kitchen begs you not to.

Coconut Mandazi Donuts

These Swahili treats should rightfully be called Mamri's because of the addition of coconut flavoring. Although very lightly tinctured with the taste of coconut, I urge you to add a teaspoon of coconut flavoring for a more pronounced taste treat. Either way, they are light, fluffy and even with the little bit of spices I use, the flavor is spot on.

 

1 cup warm coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1(1/4-ounce)package active dry yeast
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon each dried nutmeg and allspice
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 quart canola oil
Powdered sugar for dusting

 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together coconut milk, sugar and yeast. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, or until yeast is frothing.

When ready, using either a mixer with a dough hook or paddle, add flour, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and melted butter. Mix until dough leaves the side of the bowl and is thoroughly combined. Cover with dry cloth and let rise until double in bulk in warmest part of kitchen. This will be anywhere from 1-2 hours.

Punch down, cover and let rise until 50% larger in bulk this time.

Heat 1 quart of canola oil(or your choice of deep fat fryer oil)in a large, sturdy pot until temperature reaches 350-degrees F. Follow manufacturer's instructions if needed.

Transfer dough to well floured work surface and knead for a minute, adding more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Divide into 8 equal sized balls. Flatten each ball so that they are 4-inches in diameter. Cut into 4 equal sized triangles and let rest 10 minutes.

Fry 4 triangles at a time until well browned on both sides, about a minute per side. Carefully lift from oil onto paper towel-lined platter(or use a rack placed over a large sheet pan)while continuing to fry remainder of donuts. Let oil reheat for a minute or so before continuing with each batch.

Dust with powdered sugar while warm or wait until they have cooled to room temperature, or colder, before dusting.

Makes 32 donuts.

 

 

Sticky Apple Twisted Sistah's

With the classic Koeksister as an influence, these deliciously sweet, sticky "donuts" are so amazingly addictive, even the heat of summer will not prevent you from making these. But instead of cold honey drizzled over each(as usually prepared for true Koeksisters), I have added the sweetness AND flavor of apple in every bite.



Dough:
1 cup warm apple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1(1/4-ounce)package active dry yeast
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried nutmeg
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 quart canola oil
Apple Glaze:
1 1/3 cups apple cider or juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together juice, sugar and yeast. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, or until yeast is frothing.

When ready, using either a mixer with a dough hook or paddle, add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter. Mix until dough leaves the side of the bowl and is thoroughly combined. Cover with dry cloth and let rise until double in bulk in warmest part of kitchen. This will be anywhere from 1-2 hours.

Punch down, cover and let rise until 50% larger in bulk this time.

Heat 1 quart of canola oil(or your choice of deep fat fryer oil)in a large, sturdy pot until temperature reaches 350-degrees F. Follow manufacturer's instructions if needed.

On a well floured work surface, transfer dough and knead for 1 minute. Roll out dough until roughly 8 inches in width by 14-16 inches in length. Using a pizza cutter, or long, non-serrated knife, cut into 1/2-inch in width by 8-inch strips(obviously cutting from the long side).

Using 3 strips at a time, pinch one end of them together and braid until you reach the end. Pinch remaining end and cut in half, to form 2-four inch braids. Continue with remainder of dough strips. Let rest 10 minutes.

With a flat spatula, lift each off work surface and gently place in hot oil, cooking 3-4 braids at a time. Cook for about a minute. or until well browned on one side before carefully turning over to cook until browned on the other side.

Carefully lift from oil onto paper towel-lined platter(or use a rack placed over a large sheet pan)while continuing to fry remainder of donuts. Let oil reheat for a minute or so before continuing with each batch.

When done, make Apple Sticky Glaze by boiling apple cider over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water until smooth.

Whisk in cornstarch slurry to the third cup of reduced juice until thickened. Remove from heat and brush glaze over each Koeksister. Serve hot.

Makes about 10-12 Koeksisters

 


Apple Puff Fritters

The difference between these fritters and other, crispy classics is the puffy soft interior of each. Simple to make and a batter to do for, these fritters are great mouth poppers when seeing that apple fritter flavor. By using Apple Glaze, we are getting the sweetness of the usual powdered sugar glaze but an apple flavor boost.

 

Apple Glaze:
2 2/3 cups apple cider or juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Fritter Batter:
2 medium apples
1 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 quart canola oil

 

Make Apple Sticky Glaze by boiling apple cider over medium-high heat until reduced to 2/3 cup. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch with 1 1/2 teaspoons water until smooth.

Whisk in cornstarch slurry to the reduced juice until slightly thickened; set aside and keep warm.

Peel, core and grate apples into a large bowl. You can also mince the apples to the size desired. Add yogurt and eggs, beating well.

In a separate bowl, blend flour, sugar and baking powder. Add dry to wet, stirring until completely incorporated.

Heat canola oil(or your choice of deep fat fryer oil)in a large, sturdy pot until temperature reaches 350-degrees F. Follow manufacturer's instructions if needed.

Carefully drop by 2 tablespoon measures into hot oil, cooking 3-4 at a time, and cook for about 30 seconds(see NOTE). Turn and cook for about a minute or more, until browned. Turn over once again to finish browning on the other side. Lift each out of hot oil, allowing excess oil to drain, and transfer to a rack or paper towel-lined pan. Let oil reheat for a minute before continuing with remainder of batter.

Toss Fritters into warm glaze, roll around until completely coated, repeating with all Fritters. Enjoy warm.

NOTE: You will want to do your first "flip" before the Fritters begin to brown too much because the batter inside the fritters will almost prevent itself from keeping the first, cooked side up out of the oil while cooking the underside(inertia). By only lightly cooking the first side. this will help the fritter to evenly brown on all sides.