When in doubt, fry it.

That was the headliner on the Fine Cooking article about fried mac and cheese. Doesn’t that sound….um….really, really….er…good? So I read the recipe. And it sounds mouthwateringly good.

This is where you say something like “Rootie, I don’t ever want to hear you whine about your weight ever again.”

I’m not a big sweet eater, not even fried sweets like pies or snickers bars, but I do love me something savory and fried. #3 makes these amazing deep fried pickles. Holy cow, they are quite possibly the world’s perfect PMS food. Here’s how he makes them:

Deep Fried pickles
1 large jar of sliced hamburger dill chips
2 cups Bisquick or other baking mix (like Jiffy, Pioneer, whatever)
1 Fry Daddy, filled halfway with shortening/vegetable oil mix, and heated to 400 degrees

Drain the pickles and toss them in the biscuit mix to coat well. Deep fry in handfuls until they’re golden brown- it doesn’t take long, just a few minutes. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with ranch dressing.

Here it is only 20 after 8 in the morning and I’m wanting some. Maybe this weekend, as a reward for getting the concrete slab all cleared and ready for the Sweet Little Mexican Dudes ™ to come set up the work shed.

I like fried chicken- my mother-in-law makes the most excellent kind, served hot with greens and butterbeans. She is not afraid of a calorie, no she isn’t.

Chicken fried steak, with cream gravy (lots of black pepper) and mashed potatoes. I haven’t made that in a long time. Maybe I’ll put it on the menu for next week, right after I make an appointment with a cardiologist for Sweet Daddio.

There used to be this wonderful little greasy-spoon restaurant near SD’s plant called The Cedars. Everyone ate there, from the county electrical crew to the company president, and we would meet about once a month and have lunch together. They made magnificent fried chicken, fried porkchops, these little thin fried corncakes with jalapenos in them, and the Banana Pudding of the Gods. Oh my word. Homemade vanilla pudding, whipped cream…man alive. Unfortunately they got too big for their britches, opened a new restaurant in Sylvania and closed the one by the plant, and promptly went out of business. I still mourn the loss of the banana pudding (one of the few sweets I’ll actually crave). And their fried chicken? Perfect. Better even than Paula Deen’s at Lady and Sons. And that’s saying something because I’ve had Ms Deen’s chicken and it’s quite worth the trip if you happen to be in the area.

Northern Girl- you come back to Savannah and I’ll treat you to Lady and Sons. You too, Jerseechick, we’ll make it a party.

When Sweet Daddio and I were at Stuffmart a while back, we were ambling through the small appliance section and somehow a FryDaddy appeared in the buggy. I know not how but I protested, saying that we needed one of those things like we need matching Elvis tattoos on our butts. “Oh well,” said SD, “It’s in the buggy, I can’t take it out.” I squawked, and he looked at me with that “I’m a Corporate Vice President and you will not argue with me.” look, which after 23 years of marriage I know not to argue with. He doesn’t use it often, but when he does it’s better to just fold.

Then, we got home with the Fry Daddy and a big bag of breaded okra and…well. The rest is culinary history. I try to keep the Fry Daddy out of view, behind the toilet paper in the storage room, out of sight, out of mind and all that. However, sometimes I’ll be walking the frozen vege aisle at Stuffmart and a bag of breaded okra (and no, baking it is NOT satisfactory) will hurl itself into my buggy and refuse to leave. Sometimes #3 will arrive home with a great big jar of Mount Olive Hamburger Dill Chips, and announce his intentions to fry them. Who am I to argue with a 17 yr old who wants to cook?

Since it’s Thursday, and a most ordinary one at that, I won’t be frying anything for supper tonight. Most likely I’ll be making spaghetti (homemade sauce, with a head of roasted garlic and fresh herbs from the garden) and a soft slab of focaccia. An ordinary meal for an ordinary day.

Saturday, however, all bets are off.

Rootie’s Ordinary Focaccia

1 cup milk, warmed gently
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons (or 1 of those little packets) yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups all purpose flour

Mix the milk, sugar and yeast. Let sit about 10 minutes until it’s nice and foamy. Then stir in the salt and oil. Put all this in a big bowl, and start stirring in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. When all the flour is in, dump the mess on a floured countertop and commence to kneading. OR, if you’re lazy like me and have the equipment, mix all that together in the bowl of a workhorse stand mixer, and let it knead for you for 5 minutes or so, until the dough is nice and elastic and smooth. Coat the dough ball with olive oil, and put it in a warm spot (I set the oven on 100 degrees) to rise for an hour or so, until double.

Pat the dough into a flat rectangle, and put it on a greased (with olive oil) cookie sheet. Use your fingers and poke dimples all in the dough. Drizzle with some more olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper, and anything else you like such as parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes, those little cured black olives, chopped herbs (I like rosemary, because I have a huge-arsed rosemary bush in the back yard), whatever. Use your imagination. The dough is a canvas, and the toppings are the art.

Let it rise about 30 minutes- not longer because you don’t want a thick sort of thing.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until its golden brown and delightfully fragrant. Cut into squares, or throw the whole thing down and let people rip chunks out of it.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
This entry was posted in family, food. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When in doubt, fry it.

  1. Bella Rum says:

    Dad really wishes I was a better cook. The Husband will eat anything – easy to please. My mother was an incredible cook. I can still taste her fried chicken. This post made me hungry. Hope your happy.

  2. Three Steps says:

    Fried chicken is mostly enjoyed by those who love to eat deep fried. Three Steps

  3. jerseechik says:

    I got paid today. Guess how many boxes of Oreo Softettes made it into the cart? Right next to the Family Size Wavy Chips and the ingrediants for Fluffer Nutter Banana Pudding.
    Doesn’t the weekend start Friday at 2 in some countries?

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