Fried Avocado Wedges
Peel and slice the avocados just before frying to prevent discoloration. For the cleanest cuts of avocado slices, store the ripe avocado in the refrigerator until ready to use.
All-American Spice Blend
Makes about ½ cup
A little of this and a little of that combine to create a zesty spice blend that reflects the American melting pot. Flavorful and versatile, add a teaspoon to your favorite soup or use it to season flour for breading seitan. If you're missing one of the spices in this blend, you can modify the recipe by substituting different spices or adding more of another spice in the recipe.
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried mustard
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Combine all ingredients in a small skillet over medium heat. Stirring constantly, toast for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
2. Remove from the heat and allow to cook completely. Store in an airtight container.
Before You Deep Fry:
Here are some important points to keep in mind whenever you deep fry at home:
You can use either a deep fryer or a large heavy-bottomed skillet to deep fry foods.
You will need to use enough oil to cover the ingredients you are deep-frying.
When using a skillet, it must be deep enough to fill it with at least 1-inch of oil, but since oil expands as it heats, be sure you have at least 3-inches of pan above the oil level.
Canola oil or peanut oil are generally used for frying because of their neutral tastes, and higher smoke points.
Never use oilve oil for deep frying.
Avoid frying sweet foods in the smae oil after frying pungent foods, such as onions.
The ideal temperature for deep frying is between 350° and 375°F—hot enough to fry, but not at the smoking point.
A candy thermometer is handy for checking the oil temperature, but if you don't have one, pleace a 1-inch cube of bread in the fryer. It should take 1 minute to turn golden brown at 365°F.
Once the oil reaches the ideal temperature, fry a test piece of food. If the outside is golden brown and the inside is cooked, great. If the outside is golden, but the inside is not cooked, reduce the heat slightly.
If the temperature is too low, the food will take too long to cook and will be too oily, so raise the heat slightly. Adjust the heat as needed.
Be sure your ingredients are dry of coated before frying. If you need to fry wet ingredients (such as potatoes for French fries) pat them dry or coat them with flour or bread crumbs.
Whenever you place food in the fryer, avoid splashing by placing the edge of the food closest to you in first, so that the far end will splash away from you.
Fry in batches so the skillet or deep fryer doesn't get overcrowded. When you fry too many things at once, the temperature drops which causes the food to absorb more oil, making it greasy.
When the food is cooked, drain on paper towels or brown bags and season immediately. Fried food absorbs the most flavor when it's hot. Keep fried foods warm in a 250°F oven until ready to serve.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, game day
Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, side dish
Dietary Considerationhors d'oeuvre, side dish
Taste and Texturecreamy, crisp, salty
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon All-American Spice Blend (see Notes) or other spice blend
- Pinch black pepper
- ¾ cup vegan Mexican-style beer, such as Corona
- Juice of ½ lime
- Canola oil, for frying (see Notes)
- 2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 8 wedges
- ¼ cup finely ground cornmeal
- Tomato salsa, for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, spice blend, and pepper. Whisk in the beer and lime juice. Add additional beer or flour if needed for a dipping consistency that coats the avocado but isn’t too heavy.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large skillet to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a brown bag for draining. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Place the cornmeal on a plate. Coat the wedges in the cornmeal, then dip them in the batter. Working in batches, fry the avocados until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on the baking sheet then transfer to an ovenproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm until the frying is complete. Serve immediately with a small bowl of salsa for dipping.
2010 Tamasin Noyes