My granny’s tips section is taking life, it’s the result of many requests from our customers and students in Cookery Courses, but it’s also my strong will to pass down the secrets of cooking that my granny taught me. I have been studing for many years… Highschool, University, my job as sociologist directly in contact with so different realities. Many subjects and authors, many theories and way of thinking, all things contribuiting to open a mind and face life with a third eye. Nowadays I can say that I think to have treasured everything I learned, but it’s almost obvious: I spent so much time on books!
And yet I never spent my nights on my Granny’s teachings; it was such an easy way to learn: she just talked to me while cooking or preparing a dish, she “sang” the right way to do something, she just walking through the home givin her “tips”, naturally, spontaneously.
That’s why I don’t wonder if I remind many teachings from my Nonna: learning sportaneously is the best way to not forget.
Of course, she lived in a different period, and sometime you can obtain the same results with less effort (so many tricks and additives nowadays!), but generally I can say that my granny’s tips help me every day to face “quickly” and “happily” the daily trials of my life. One of her most succesfull way of cooking was “the italian fried”: chicken, rabbit, fish from the boat, meatballs, pumpkin, cauliflower, courgettes…and you name it.
Actually, during our Private Dinners we often serve fried Chicken nuggets, tuscan style, with seasonal vegetables in batter and our customers who have tasted this dish, asked for it again and again. You can find the recipe for the Chicken nuggets here; anyway a lots of my guests ask me the recipe for the perfect blatter: well, read below and find it…the secret is in the proportion between water and flour…it’s in the consistence, in a few words.
Well, back to us and this section: my Granny’s tips… who perfectly knows the secrets of an amazing fry?
My Nonna surely knew, and now I’m passing down you her best ones!
Humans learned frying more than 4500 years ago, they saw that this way of cooking was fast and tasteful, but fried has its limits, first of all: it’s not so easy to digest.
My Nonna’s tips to have an amazing, crispy and easy to digest fried:
- 1. Use a very good quality Oil. The best one is extra virgin olive oil, but it has a strong flavor; you can substitue it with Peanuts oil, which has a very high smoke point. I use peanuts oil for any fried dish that I’m going to prepare.
Usually, before frying, we need to flour well the surface of small fish or meat. In Italy we often use 00 Flour (the white one)
- 2. Be sure that your fish or meat are perfectly dry, help you with a kitchen paper if needed (my nonna always told me that it’s a very important step)
- 3. Flour well the surface; don’t put your fish or meat on a plate with flour, but put the flour inside a paper (or plastic) bag, then add the fish (or meat), close the bag and shake it for a few seconds. Open the bag and remove the perfectly floured pieces, place them over a tray and immediately fry. You can find the recipe for Small fried Fish from the Boat Here.
- 4. Before frying, add some lemon drops to the hot oil in your pan, you’ll obtain a more crispy fried, but also easier to digest.
- 5. Remember: everything you fry, you must add the salt just a moment before to eat it, otherwise say goodbye to the crispness.
Not only white Flour or breadcrumbs:
- 6. Would you like frying mushrooms, for example, but you miss white flour or breadcrumbs? Try to use corn flour, (the same used to make “polenta”): you’ll obtain a super crispy fried.
- 7. My granny made breadcrumbs with dried bread, to avoid waste. Anyway, if you’d like frying “polpette” (meatballs) and you miss breadcrumbs, try to substitute it with mashed potato flakes: you’ll obtain tasteful and soft meatballs.
- 8. Vegan Solution: (it seems that my granny was ahead 😀 ). It’s possible replace the breadcrumbs with a batter made with water and chickpea flour. In this way you can do without eggs too, making your fried lighter.
The Perfect Batter for Vegetables:
- 9. The consistence is the secret, as I told you before. The right one is the same of a creamy yogurt. You’ve to immerse the vegetables in the batter, drain a little and immediately put in the hot oil of the pan.
- 10. Here’s the proportion that I tested to obtain a perfect one: 1 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of water
- 10. Never add salt to the batter, risk to ruin everything.
- 11. When you’re preparing your batter, you can add a pinch of baking soda: veggie’ll be more tasteful and crispy.
- 12. to reduce the smell of fried, while frying: put in the hot oil 1 or 2 parsley leaves.
- 13. to reduce the smell of fried, after fried: put in the hot oil 1 or 2 apple wedges.
- 14. my granny never washed her pan for frying with dish soap: she cleaned it with kitchen paper and then rubbed it with a handful of fine salt
- 15. if your pan is still smelling of fried, you can rub it with some tea leaves, as my granny used to do
Really hope this could be useful for all of you who live faraway from Italy and Europe too, tell me if it’s difficult to find some ingredient in your country, or if you need some suggestions in your choice, I’ll be glad to help you with advices and everything I know. Ciao!
This looks great, we should be in touch as I am sure our guests would be interested in a local cookery class from you!
Erika Elia says
Of course Glyn, hope we’ll collaborate…I’ll early send you an email, you can do the same. Thanks, have a great day!