Fried and True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts

Rick Rodgers, Author, Christopher Hirsheimer, Photographer Chronicle Books $16.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-8118-1606-9
In this decade, the no-fun '90s, it takes guts to publish a cookbook of deep-fried dishes. Rodgers (author of Simply Shrimp and On Rice) doesn't waste time on wimpy panfrying; instead, he gives us the greasy, crunchy foods we crave. The best chapter focuses on appetizers and snacks. Saratoga Potato Chips with Caramelized Shallot Dip, Little Meatballs with Salsa Verde and Rice Crisps with Peanut-Lime Dipping Sauce are wonderful precisely because they are meant to be served in small quantities. Entrees, on the other hand, approach overkill. Rodgers provides three recipes for fried chicken as well as directions for Two-Tone Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip and Chicken Kiev. Clever ideas abound but often require a lot of work: Mozzarella Cubes on Spaghetti Sticks with Pizzaola Sauce are served on fried pieces of raw spaghetti. Deep-Fried Cornish Game Hens seem more like a gimmick than the best way to treat a bird. Amid all the recipes, the simplest dishes stand out: Classic Belgian French Fries hit the oil twice for extra crispiness and Orchard Buttermilk Doughnuts are treated to a simple glaze of apple juice and sugar. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
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