Friday, April 9, 2010

We're going! To a fry party! It's the best party! That's ever been!

Deep-fried food is delicious, if not nutritious, and I cram it into our home menu as often as possible. But it's a pain to deep fry at home what with the slick of oil that always seems to collect on the counter, or the risk of burns, or the fact that in our deep-fryer/electric wok. It's better to go out to a restaurant if you want a fry up, but the absolute ideal situation is a fry party!

Check out the slide show. Or read on after the jump for the rest of the story!

The setup is simple: a sunny City backyard, two giant kettles of oil mounted on jet engines/portable burners, gallons of beer, and a whole mess of fryables. And that's what exactly what our friend, the magnanimous James Reilly III, set up with his roommates a few weeks ago.

The selections ran the gamut from the sublime (ricotta zeppole with bacon maple glaze, brie gobs with cranberries), the ridiculous (two Totinos frozen pizzas slapped together, a skirt steak rolled around cheese, mini-peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) or the obscure (chicharron de harina and panelle).

Those last two were our offerings. The chicharron, which I had erroneously thought were called doritos, is a thin, hard pasta of lard and flour in the shape of a wagon wheel, but that puffs up in hot oil to make a delicious, greasy, crisp and surprisingly light snack. Panelle is a Sicilian relative of northern corn polenta made from chickpea flour that is sliced thin, deep fried, and served in sandwiches with a scattering of sesame seeds.