Monday, August 18, 2008

Deep Fried Candy Bars

One thing I want to do here at Problem Girl Eats is give you little hints and tips for eating healthier and saving money on food. If that's the sort of thing you're interested in too you may want to go ahead and skip this entry.

For those of you sticking around, let me introduce to you the County Fair $5 Deep Fried Candy Bar.
The Deep Fried Candy Bar is a work of art. A candy bar (you can pick between Snickers, 3 Musketeers and Milky Way) is stuck on a stick and dipped in batter. Then the whole thing is dropped into a deep fryer. When the batter is golden brown it's taken out and put on a little paper plate. As the man who makes them sprinkles powdered sugar all over it he warns you to let it cool a bit before taking a bite because it's really hot. You think him but then wonder if he said that because you look like the sort of person who would shove a piping hot wad of chocolate and fried dough into your mouth three seconds after it came out of boiling hot oil.

It doesn't matter though because now you have your Deep Fried Candy Bar. You'll want to find a place to sit down before biting into it. That first bite is so amazingly, intensely good that if you take it while standing up you're likely to fall over.
If you ever find yourself at a fair or a carnival you're going to want to check and see if you can get one of these. And if you can't you're going to want to get a deep fryer for your own home and make these by the dozen. And if you do can you call me and let me know? These are far too good to be a once a year treat.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fried Plantians

I've always been a little curious to try plantains but until very recently I was also a little wary of them. A banana that you fry? Sounds a little scary. Thank goodness I got over my fear and tried plantains with this simple, no fail method. Try it once and I promise you that you won't be sorry. In fact you'll probably find yourself making it again and again.

I started with two large, green plantains. Plantains get sweeter as they ripen and for this recipe you'll want them unripe and starchy.

Start by putting some oil in pan. You need just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. I used canola oil but I've heard peanut oil is good too. While the oil is heating to medium high heat cut both ends of the plantains off and then slit the skin all the way from the top to the bottom. Peel off the skin. If you're really talented you can get the skin off in one piece. I am not talented and my peel was in 14 pieces when I was done.

Slice the plantains into slices 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Precision doesn't matter here. Trust me.

Put the plantain slices into the pan and let them sit there frying for a minute or two. Depending on your pan size you may have to do this in several batches. After a couple of minutes check to see how the plantains look. You want a nice golden brown crust. When you have that flip them over.

After you have a golden brown crust on the other side start taking the plantain slices out one by one and putting them on a plate or other flat surface. With the bottom of a glass smash the plantain down so that all the soft stuff inside squishes out. See, that's why it doesn't matter if they're all the same thickness. If you have a really thick one you just smash it a little more. Try not to get your big meaty paws in the picture like I did.

Return the smashed slices back to the oil and let them brown a little bit more.

See that nice brown edge on the bottom? That's what you're aiming for. You won't ever get there though because by this point you'll have tasted one and you'll be so eager to eat more that you won't care if they're only half done. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Once the slices are nice and on the edges take them out of the pan and lay them on paper towels to drain. Or, if you don't have any paper towels use a decorative napkin that your mother-in-law made. Sprinkle the slices with kosher salt.

Cram them all into your mouth as fast as you can so that your husband and children don't get very many. Let them make their own darned plantains.

These were a hit with my entire family. They're like potato chips but thicker and better and with the tiniest hint of sweetness. Um, the plantains, not my family. Although I guess that description applies to my family too. I'm sorry, I can't think straight. There's a green plantain calling my names. Excuse me.