Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Never Fry Asparagi

In the name of full disclosure I feel I should write about some of my failures, (i.e salted caramel bar disaster!) Here is a photo from Fine Cooking magazine of the inspiration: French Fried Asparagus.
What's not to love? Smoked Paprika Aïoli, fresh asparagus, breaded and deep fried, yum! A vegetable even a child could love (minus the Aïoli of course)

Now, here is a photo of my French Fried Asparagus:

 Oh dear!!

Here is the process:
 Peel the asparagus and cut in half on the diagonal

Make three separate dishes of:
3/4 cup flour seasoned well with salt and pepper
1 cup panko crumbs
2 eggs, whisked together with juice from 1 lime and 2 Tbs of water

Heat 3 cups vegetable oil (I used Canola) to 375° on a deep fryer thermometer
Dip asparagus in flour, then the egg mixture, then panko, fry in batches for 3 minutes.
What a disaster! The first batch burned immediately, also, the panko became too wet from all the eggy the dipping. I reduced the heat on the oil and the temperature lowered and NEVER reached even 300° again!!
Okay girlfriends, where did I do wrong? I would appreciate your input.

The Smoked Paprika Aïoli was wonderful...and Mike insisted he liked the asparagus...but he's my greatest advocate so, "sorry honey, you are biased!"

Smoked Paprika Aïoli
4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika (I buy mine at William Sonoma)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Boil the garlic in cool water in a small pan, when it reaches a boil, toss the water out, add fresh cool water and boil again, drain, peel and cool the garlic, dice when cooled.
Whisk together diced garlic and the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Yum. I could think of a dozen ways to use this aïoli.

Okay so the Aïoli was a hit and the asparagus a miss! I am thinking the only way to deep fry successfully is to purchase a deep fryer. Anyone have a recommendation for a good deep fryer with a small footprint? I welcome your input!!
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