There was no going back once I started to use a deep-fat fryer, says Ajesh Patalay in the FT. At first “I made a lot of chips”, but they were just a gateway drug. I moved on to tempura vegetables – baby courgettes, broccoli, aubergine and mushrooms – with sparkling water in the batter to make it crispier. Next up were prawns, which I devoured “like M&Ms”, and coriander, which turns into “intense, crunchy wisps” when deep-fried.
Then I upped the ante with “the most prized food in the frying pantheon: fried chicken”. Marinating the chicken beforehand is all well and good, but my loyalties lie with KFC. Grace’s Perfect Blend, a breading mix from Ireland based on Colonel Sanders’s original recipe, requires no marination and indulged “my very worst teenage proclivities”. And why not? “Deep-fried foods are implicitly a treat, an indulgence. If we’re going to have them, we might as well have them just the way we want them.”
The Tefal Oleoclean Pro fryer costs £98.95 on Amazon.
Would you care to see the water list?
South African water sommelier Candice Jansen wants to awaken people to the “distinctive taste” of water, says Ntando Thukwana in Business Insider. The level of minerals determines the flavour of water, which means “no two waters are the same”. Like wine, she says, different waters should be paired with specific types of food or drink.
Vichy Catalan water from Spain, high in sodium and naturally carbonated, is a popular pairing with cocktails. Wines should always be paired with a still water that “accentuates the wine”. Sparkling water should be served with dessert, but adding lemon to water “ruins the flavour completely” – as does putting ice from a different source into a glass of water.
Ingredient of the week: aubergines
“I’m a big fan of aubergines, so long as they’re cooked right,” says Georgina Hayden in Waitrose Food. That means plenty of time and lots of oil. They’re enjoyed all over the world, so “there are many inspiring ways to cook them”. Japanese nasu dengaku, with miso, is “delicate, salty and sweet”. Italian aubergine involtini is a wonderful summer dish, warm and fresh. And baba ganoush, from the Middle East, has a “beautiful smoky flavour”.