Monday, February 04, 2013

Big Winner of the Superbowl? Me.

Yes, that's right, because while the lights were going out in New Orleans, I had successfully knocked task #14 off of the list: Deep-fry in a Dutch Oven.

Done and done, and I'll do it again.

Our original Superbowl plans fell apart, and we ended up having a good friend over to watch the game. To try and make things a little more interesting, I thought I'd give a try to actually making my own potato chips. Tried out Alton Brown's recipe (shocking, I know), which resulted in some very crisp potato chips that, stunning to all of us, actually tasted like they came from a potato (who would have thought?).

The only downside to the recipe is that it uses olive oil, which, as I mentioned to Sharon earlier today, is quite a bit more expensive than using vegetable, corn, or canola oil (don't worry, I got a full on "Uhmmm... yeah?" from her). The other catch is that the recipe calls for using 2 quarts, and I could only get a large 3 quart bottle, so am now reliving one of those brain teasers from childhood about the different-sized jugs of water and how to get the right amount in them.

Was tempted to go beyond that and try frying some fresh tortilla chips, but ran into a smoke point-related issue there. Tortilla chips apparently are to be fried at 375, which is higher than the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil, but lower than the smoke point of certain kinds of regular olive oil (Wikipedia was not more specific than this). Rather than risk a horrible (smelling) kitchen mess, I decided to run to the Latin grocery down the street and pick up a few bags already made for the guacamole (recipe here). Also decided to make some onion sour cream dip (recipe here), which came out absolutely amazing on the fresh potato chips.

Unfortunately, I came close but wasn't able to knock off a second item from the list (#19: Cook everything from an episode of "Good Eats" from which I have cooked nothing). First of all, the task specifies "an episode," which I've always taken to mean I should pick one at random. The whole point of the thing is to step outside my comfort zone--I don't think I should be able to cherry pick an episode. Second, I had already made the guacamole from the "dip" episode. Lastly (and most disappointing), Wegman's was out of frozen artichoke hearts, so I wasn't able to make the last recipe from the episode.

Somehow, I think I'll survive.

No picture proof of the chips, but I'm sure we'll be frying some more up soon. Also on the horizon: french fries, for which I'll be acquiring a very large jug of safflower oil.

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