Deep frying is a cooking method in which food is submerged in a hot fat, usually a high-smoke point oil such as vegetable, canola, peanut or safflower. Using a tender item usually has the best results as over-frying yields soggy, greasy product. You want to use an item that can cook quickly with a high heat.
Tips and tricks for deep-frying:
Use the appropriate amount of heat. Overheating the oil can cause the oil to smoke and the item to burn. Usually frying temperatures range from 325° - 375°F. A clip on thermometer is recommended but oil that is ready will bubble around the edges of a wooden stick when inserted (make sure it is DRY and CLEAN). If your oil starts to smoke it is too hot, remove the pan from the cooking surface very carefully and allow to cool.
Use a heavy-bottomed pot or deep sauté pan.
The temperature of the oil will drop when you add your item so make sure you only fry in small batches to avoid dropping the temperature too quickly. Dropping the temperature too quickly will result in greasy, uncooked items and longer reheat times.
Use a slotted spoon and lower in items gently to avoid hot oil splashes.
Drain your item on a paper-towel lined surface and season immediately with salt/pepper.
Dispose of oil properly:
Save your oil container and after cooling the oil to room temperature, use a fine mesh strainer to strain the oil back into its original container. Store in a cool, dark place or freeze for up to two months.
When oil is no longer usable, do not pour down sink! Seal tightly and throw it away or ask your county about proper disposal or biodiesel reuse.
Items at PRFM to deep-fry:
(Vegetables and shrimp are particularly good with a tempura batter or light breading, a heavier breading is good for chicken):
Corn (think fritters)
Eggplant Kale (think more fritters!)
Sunchokes Thin slices of root vegetables such as sweet potato or winter squash cut to about 1/4 inch thick.