Saturday, September 10, 2011

Are You Ready For A Game Day Snack?! Week 1 - Deep Fried Goodness!

I'M BACK!! It's been too long since I have cooked. I am serious. I don't know what I have done all summer, but I have been incredibly lazy, and had zero desire to cook new foods. The little cooking I did resulted in pasta or things like that, which aren't exciting to post about. I'm still having some motivation issues (seriously, who stole my motivation?!) but I made an effort so I could bring back the football snacks!

This week's idea is seriously unhealthy. I mean, deep fried?!?! Blame it on Food Network though. They had a whole feature in this month's magazine about deep frying many different foods, and it looked just too darn good not to try at least once. So I figured I'd kick off the football season with a deliciously unhealthy, ooey, gooey, assembly of treats.

The batter I used was really easy to make, and it is so versatile to different seasonings. I split the batter 3 ways and actually used 3 different sets of seasonings based on which food I was frying. I could totally see making a batch of foods and putting them out on a tray for hungry football fans to eat while cheering on their respective teams.

For this post, we tried fried strawberries, Oreo's, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese and a slice of pizza. The pizza was actually on the article's "do not fry" list, but honestly, it was THE BEST THING WE MADE. OMG!!

Also on the "good to fry list" are things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, nuts, olives, cheesecake, Snickers, mini muffins and some other assorted goodies.

Some of the "do not fry" foods include M&M's, marshmallows, tomato slices, bologna, watermelon, as well as some other foods. Like I said, pizza WAS on that list (I guess maybe they mean regular pizza?? We used a specialty slice), but it turned out to be so delicious that I can't imagine why it's not good to fry.

There are a few different batters to use depending on your foods. I picked the basic batter because all the foods we wanted to play with used that batter.

Basic Batter:

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold club soda

whisk together!

After you make the batter, you add in the spice blend you want, and I will talk about what I used for each food.

There is also a thin batter which uses just 1/4 cup more of club soda, and an egg batter, which is the basic batter with only 3/4 cup of club soda and adding in 2 egg yolks.

The only recipe they gave us using the egg batter was for the Snickers candy bar... everything else used the basic or thin batters. In fact, the only 2 things on their list using the thin batter is the PB&J sandwich and the bananas. So basic seems to work for most anything.

**You also need a pot with about 3 inches of vegetable oil (or peanut oil) heated to 375 degrees F.

And now, on to the goodies:


Hull the strawberries, and add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a teaspoon of sugar to the batter. (I actually used 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and 1 teaspoon of cocoa sugar for a more chocolatey taste!!) Dip the strawberries in the batter and drop into the oil. Fry for 1 minute until golden brown.

My first attempt at the strawberry was so-so...we didn't fry it long enough and it just tasted like a hot strawberry. My second attempt was much better and it became more gooey, so it was sort of like biting into hot strawberry sauce. But it was delicious!


We used the same seasonings that we used for the strawberries for the Oreo's. They came out fine - just like a fried Oreo should! I could see sprinkling some confectioners sugar on top of these and the strawberries as well. Oreo's get fried for 2-3 minutes.

Macaroni & Cheese:

Spread mac n cheese in a baking dish, chill and cut into squares. (I actually just put some in a tiny ramekin and stuck it in the freezer for a half hour to form a shape). Add a pinch of cayenne to the basic batter and fry for 1-2 minutes. I used paprika instead (we didn't have cayenne), and it was very tasty!

Mashed Potatoes:

Well, these would have been one of my favorites but my mashed potatoes leaked out of their batter shell and made a mess. I was so upset. The little bite we had left was SO delicious!! I'm not quite sure what happened, but the instructions are to chill the mashed potatoes and roll into balls. Use the basic batter with 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs. I decided to just use a pinch of dried parsley and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Fry 2-3 minutes.


There is a restaurant near us called Pantano's and they make a very delicious pizza that consists of creamed spinach with mozzarella on whole wheat crust. We LOVE it. We had one slice left so I cut off the crust and used the batter I used for the mashed potatoes. We fried it for about 2 minutes and honestly, between the spinach, cheese and spices in the batter, everything worked so well, and my husband and I had to try SO hard not to eat it all in the middle of a random Saturday. My husband joked about going to get another pie to fry as well but we knew that would be even more unhealthy than we were already being!! Haha.

Despite us testing the waters before Sunday (I really wanted to get the recipe up for anyone wanting to make this for the game), and being really unhealthy, we also knew that without a doubt, if we had people over, we would make a few of these items to put out - especially the pizza and mashed potatoes (if I can make them right next time!)

So I hope you all are ready for some football (or party entertaining!) I promise I will try to come up with some healthier options as well for throughout the season.


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