This next recipe and recent current events reminded me of the days when the leaders of my country were being haters towards the French. Remember that?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather we be one with France then having a pissing contest with them. I just can’t help but remember how amusing it was to me that people were actually referring to French Fries as Freedom Fries, in addition to other items with the title French in them.
It also just occurred to me, did people call French Bulldogs, Freedom Bulldogs? Was that a thing ever?
Boycotting French Bulldogs would make sense, since they actually are French. Well French and British, but so is most British Royalty and no was calling The Queen, Freedom Queen.
The whole thing was silly and amusing to me, since most French named food items aren’t necessarily French. In fact there is a heated dispute between Belgium and France as to who invented fries.
Oh my god, is that why Belgium has become a hotbed for terrorist plots? Maybe we should call them Freedom Fries. Freedom from grudges and violence that is.
I’m being facetious if you’re having trouble denoting my intentions here. I’m a big fan of coping with crisis and deflecting hostility via humor.
Thai people have their own version of fried freedom and The Everything Thai Cookbook has shown me the way with the following ingredients.
You will need, 2 medium sweet potatoes, 4 green plantains, 1 pound of taro root, 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup of sticky rice flour, pepper, salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of black sesame seeds, and 1 14oz bag of shredded coconut.
Before we begin, let me recommend going to an Asian Food Market to buy most of these ingredients. If you can specifically go to a Thai one, that is even better. I went to a Korean market at first and they did not have taro root, but the Thai market did. If you don’t have that resource, however, it’s not necessary to have taro root. You can substitute with another type of veggie. In other words, the taro is one of the items being fried. It’s not an ingredient per se.
The first step is to peel the potatoes, taro, and the plantains. Cut each of them into fry like shapes of your choice. I went with the traditional long and skinny style.
Once that’s done, you will make your fry batter by combining both flours and a 1/2 cup of water. Continue to add a 1/4 more of water intermittently until the mixture resembles pancake batter.
Next add the remaining ingredients you haven’t used yet.
You are now ready to freedom fry!
I’m still terrible at frying, by the way. I never seem to get the right temperature and the batter tends to slide off. So, if you have a cooking thermometer and are challenged like me, you should use that thing. I should use that thing, but I don’t have one and I’m too cheap and lazy to go out and get one.
The cookbook says to fill a frying pan with vegetable oil a third to a half full and to heat it over high heat, but not too high. Whatever that means.
When it’s just Goldilocks right, fry those veggies! Be careful, though, cause you could burn your foot like I did. It was not a pleasant experience, trust me.
Anyway, you’re going to fry those veggies until they are golden brown and the best way to do so is to turn them over once in awhile. Once they have browned, place them on a bed of paper towels to soak up excess oil and then they’ll be ready for consumption.
Despite my frustrations with frying, these turned out well. The coconut is the most assertive taste and it sweetens up the greasy oil taste you normally have with fried foods.
The fried plantains were a little strange for me. It tasted fine, but I wasn’t a fan of combing that kind of mushy texture with fried batter. The taro was a little stiff too, but still tasty. I’ll admit the sweet potato was my favorite, even though it makes me a little sad to admit it. I feel uncultured.
Oh well, you like what you like right?