The Kosher Gastronome

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Chicken Galantine…Plus, a happy 3rd bloggaversary to me

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I’ve been looking for a good recipe to make and write about to get back into the whole blogging thing…It’s been rough, but I think I found it. Basically, chicken galantine is essentially keeping a chicken whole, while removing all of the bones, then stuffing it, wrapping it all up, and cooking the sucker.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…chickens have bones?? The long answer is – yes.

I personally love the art and technique of butchering. I’ve always been intrigued by it, because it is an art and it’s pretty much not appreciated. Lately whenever I can, I like to buy whole chickens, and chop it up into it’s different parts, and I don’t know why, but there’s this more accomplished feeling, when you realize that one whole chicken, can produce so many components to the meal. Like in our dish for example – I used the remaining carcass to make a stock, and the scrap chicken to make the filling. Then I used the stock to make the gravy that went with the dish. It’s kinda like the circle of life, man…it’s super deep.

Whatever, philosophy class aside, I’m not gonna say this is an easy technique to do, but trust me when I say, that if I can do it, so can you. It does help to have a little bit of knowledge of what parts are what though. So without further ado…chicken galantine.

Ok, this recipe comes from the great Jacques Pepin, and he has a great Youtube video, which I recommend watching if you’re gonna venture into this. You’ll also have to excuse me for not having great step by step pictures.

One thing to know before going into this, is you know how chickens have “white and dark” meat? Well, in general, whenever an animal uses a particular muscle for longer periods of time, as opposed to quick bursts, the muscle will be darker. So for example – a chicken pretty much uses the muscles of its legs all day, when it sits, stands, walks, etc..so it needs those muscles constantly. However, a chicken doesn’t really use its wings all too often. Every once in a while, it will use them for a moment. The machinery needed to run these muscles are different, and that’s why they taste different.

(Quick science detour – You can skip this part if you want [but the rest you can’t!] – Basically, the muscles that are used for longer periods of time, need fat and oxygen in order to work, which it gets from the bloodstream in the form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin then gives the oxygen to myoglobin, which stores it until the cytochromes are ready to oxidize it. The myoglobin is what gives these muscle fibers its dark red color [what’s interesting is, there are different configurations to myoglobin and depending on that configuration is what color the meat will be…ranging from purple, to red, and brown…but I digress]…anyway, with white meat, since the body needs the energy pronto, it doesn’t rely on the blood stream to deliver its nutrients, rather, the muscle has energy stored within it, in the form of glycogen, and converts that into energy without having to wait for blood to bring stuff. And while we’re on the topic, if you thought about it, you would understand why a duck is different than a chicken…it actually uses it’s breast muscle for long periods of time, and that’s why there’s no white meat on a duck, and why it’s freaking delicious…this is also why a tuna, and to a lesser extent salmon is different than bass or flounder…see where I’m going with this?)

Ok back to our chicken, one of the challenges in cooking this (or chicken in general for that matter) is cooking the white and dark meat to the right point, and since they both are done at different temperatures (white meat – needs to be cooked no higher than 140, and dark meat has to exceed 155ish in order for it to be melt in your mouth [that has to do with the connective tissue breaking down into collagen…more on that another time]), so we’re going to have to keep that in mind once we’re done with the whole carcass breakdown thingy…wait…it’s been like 6 paragraphs, and we haven’t even started cutting the bird??? Yeesh, this is gonna be a long post…I know, but it’s been a while…I have a lot to say.

Ok, Ok…let’s get cutting. First thing to do is remove the wish bone by making slits along the backside, and digging your fingers in, and pulling it out.

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Then, lay the bird on the side, and cut through the skin along the spine. Then we’re going to separate the tips and the flat off of the wings to leave just the mini drum stick. (I know this is hard to describe without good pictures, but it was hard to take pics, so just do yourself a favor and watch the video)

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All right, now the next part happens pretty fast, but the idea is this – All we’re going to be cutting from here on in is the knee and shoulder joints…the rest will be separated just by pulling everything apart (again, watch the video). Once you have both shoulder joints separated, you can basically pull the whole carcass down, and then you’ll be at the knee joint and will need to cut that also.

Once that’s done, this is what you’ll have -

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The only bones left are two in each leg, and one in each shoulder.

To remove the leg bones, take the back of your knife, and gently scrape away at any meat clinging to the bone, and when you reach the actual joint, you’ll have to cut in order to separate (need I say watch the video again?)

Then to remove the bone, I pretty much whacked the ankle, to break the bone, and removed the bone through the thigh. For the bone in the shoulder, you can actually just push it out.

Ok, so now we’re ready to fill the pollo. I kinda went on a riff on our chicken crepes (which I’m sure still is emblazoned in your memory because it was so awesome), which is a big hit in this family.

I sauteed onions and mushrooms, and after they were good and soft, I added some flour, and stirred to combine. Then I added some of the stock and let that come to a simmer, and then added our reserved chopped up chicken.

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Transfer to chicken, and fill the bird, making sure to stuff the filling into the legs and shoulders.

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Then, roll it all up

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and tie it like a large roast.

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I then salted it, and placed it in the fridge over night. Leaving it in the fridge over night helps for two reasons. One I was able to go to sleep, because I was super tired. But mainly, it dries out the skin, which helps to brown the chicken better.

When you’re ready to cook, since we’re going to be roasting the chicken (ie – high heat, and uncovered), considering what we discussed earlier, we needed a way to figure out how not to overcook the wihte meat, while the dark meat continues to cook. One method I’ve used before is to pplace aluminum foil over the white meat for the first portion of cooking.

Now since there’s only so much more I can discuss, essentially there are three ways to transmit heat/energy and cook something, conduction, convection, and radiation. Without getting too much into it, placing aluminum foil on the chicken prevents radiation from transmitting energy, and thus eliminates part of what will cook the meat. Confusing? Great!

So I put the bird in at 400 for about 45-50 minutes, covering the white meat with aluminum for about 20 minutes of that.

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And that’s it. Now you just have to cut it up.

I served it with a mushroom sauce (gravy made with the stock, along with sauteed mushrooms recipe here)

Well, I know the 9 days are coming, and my timing might not be the best, but you know what? I don’t care! Plus, as I’m sure you saw in the title, it’s my 3rd anniversary for this here li’l website. So go me…I’m not exactly sure what the accomplishment is, but hey, lets just celebrate.

I also hope to be able to blog more now that I’m officially unemployed (ie I finally am done with my residency, and I’m looking for a job), so here’s another empty promise that I write some more…but you know I’ll probably disappoint.

Chicken Galantine

Watch Video here

Based on this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, deboned, but left whole
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Small case of Mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • leftover chicken from the last time you made stock
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Stock
  • 1 batch of mushroom sauce

Directions:

  1. Debone chicken, watch Chef Pepin do it in video above
  2. Salt and pepper the insides of the chicken
  3. Sautee mushroom and onion, until soft, about 5-7 minutes
  4. Add flour and cook while stirring for another 2-3 minutes, until toasty
  5. Add garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds
  6. Add broth, and bring to a boil, and cook for another 7 minutes or so, until thickened.
  7. Add reserved chicken scraps, and stir to combine
  8. Take mushroom chicken mixture, and stuff chicken, ensuring to placed stuffing into legs and shoulders.
  9. Roll up chicken, and tie into a roast.
  10. Set chicken on a rack, salt and pepper the bird, and place in fridge over night (optional)
  11. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400
  12. Place piece of aluminum foil over white meat, and cook chicken for 15-20 minutes, remove foil, up the heat to 450, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until ready (135 for white meat if using thermometer)
  13. Allow meat to rest before carving at least 30 minutes.
  14. Slice and serve with mushroom sauce

Blooming Onion & Beer Battered Onion Rings?? Two for the price of one!

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Hey friend, so you know I like you right? Well that’s why I am nice enough to let you in on the secret to perfect beer battered onion rings. No more will you be forced to eat onion rings which have no coating. We’re talking crisp, yet airy onion rings. That’s something you want isn’t it? Of course it is. If you tell me you don’t like onion rings, I don’t know if we could be friends.

That being said, I do have one caveat. You see apparently someone over at Joy Of Kosher thought I was pretty cool, and they actually asked me to do this guest post over on their blog, so if you want the ultimate secret to perfect Beer Battered Onion Rings, you’re just going to have to click on any of these shiny words. Or this one. You can also try this word…they all work. While you’re over there you can also vote for me as one of the Best Kosher Food Blogs, but you’re going to have to scroll all the way to the bottom, because I currently have a grand total of 2 votes (thanks mom and dad!)!

Anyway, go over there and make those onion rings, because they’re really awesome, but while you’re at it, and you have all that oil ready for some frying, why not make a blooming onion??? Genius, right? The batter is different than the one for the beer battered ones, and really the only thing that makes a blooming onion, is the preparation.

Take your onion, oh and we’re using the sweet Vidalia types, and peel the skin off while keeping the onion whole. Then you’re going to want to cut it into wedges without going all the way through the onion. Kind of like cutting a pizza, I guess…somehow…So start by making a cut from pole to pole, but don’t go all the way through. Then make a cut perpendicular to that one, again avoiding cutting all the way through, and keep on going until you have wedges.

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Place the onion in some ice water, and gently start teasing apart the “leaves.”

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Mix together 2 eggs, and set aside.

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Also mix together 1 cup of flour, with whatever spices you see fit (I used, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and cayenne…but use whatever you want, you can’t really go wrong). Pour enough hot water into the flour mixture that a thickish batter forms (like a thin pancake batter).

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Dip the onion into the eggs, and then the flour mixture, and fry until golden-brown, about 15 minutes.

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If we’re making blooming onions, you got to have a dipping sauce right? So I threw together mayo (about 1/3 cup), a splash of cider vinegar, sriracha, paprika, and mustard, and mixed it all together.

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Now the only issue I had with the blooming onion is it’s a pain in the butt to handle, and trying to keep all the leaves together, and all that…so I thought to myself, why not screw the whole blooming onion thing, but make those leaves anyway. So for batch #2, I did the same exact thing, but this time, I cut all the way through. That way, every last part of the onion was coated with the coating, and it fried up so much nicer. Plus, it was easier to handle post-frying, and also easier to dip. So unless you’re after the esthetics of a blooming onion, I say, go for the second way, it’ll be much easier for everyone.

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Another note – if you haven’t read the beer battered onion ring post (and seriously, why haven’t you yet?…oh you’re not sure where the actual post is?? Well why didn’t you say so…click here), the onions were soaked in a salt-water type of soak (we used beer in that recipe, but any salt water solution will work) to pull out the moisture from the onions, which if you use sweet onions, will have a lot of moisture so it will really benefit from the soak, which I didn’t do, and the final product did end up a little mushier than I wanted, and I think now’s a good time to end this extremely long run on sentence, no?

I’d love to hear what you’re planning on making for your superbowl party.

Blooming Onion

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Vidalia onions
  • 3 cups oil (or enough to cover the onion)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Hot water
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha (or any type of hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • Hot paprika
  • Mustard powder

Directions:

  1. In a heavy bottom pot, heat up the oil over high heat (if using a thermometer, you want it to register about 350 before frying…if you don’t have a thermometer, you can either use a popcorn kernel which pops around 350, or you can use a wooden chopstick, and it should bubble around the chopstick when the oil is hot enough)
  2. Peel the outer layer of skin on the onion while keeping the onion whole. Then to make the blooming onion, cut through the onion, but not all the way through, and make wedges by cutting perpendicular to it, and continue going until you have a bunch of wedges as illustrated above. Alternatively, you can make the blooming onion by just making the “leaves,” by cutting all the way through.
    1. If you want, and I didn’t do this, but I recommend it, salt the onions after you cut them, and let them sit for 20-30 minutes to allow the moisture to come out of the onions
  3. Mix together the eggs and set aside
  4. Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and cayenne, and add enough hot water to form a thin-ish batter
  5. Dunk the onion in the egg, and then the flour mixture, and when the oil’s ready fry the onion until golden brown, about 13-15 minutes
  6. While the onion’s frying, make the dipping sauce – Combine the mayo, sriracha, vinegar, paprika and mustard and mix to combine

Potato Kugel – Kosher Link up

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So I’ll go out on a limb here, and let you all know, that I’m pretty much a pro at potato kugel. I know that’s a pretty brash statement right there, but I’ve been making potato kugel since I was about 13 years old. It was really the first step into my decent of food madness. However, it’s been 2 plus years on this here blog, and not one mention of potato kugel? No recipe? Nothing!? Well for some reason, my potato kugel is very hard to give over. I never had a recipe, and kind of am at the point where I make the kugel by feel. So why the change of heart? Why am I all of a sudden writing up a post on potato kugel? Well to be honest, this month’s kosher LinkUp theme is root vegetables, and I’ve been super busy lately, and really haven’t had the time to take pictures and write up a post, so I figured, I’d be making the potato kugel anyway for Shabbos, so like everything else in my life, I’d be able to kill two birds with one stone, and half ass it, awesome! I can already hear you in the background rolling your eyes, but fear not, I’ll be back with some quality posts once I can get my life in order…so in like 15 years give or take.

One of the nice things about not being consistent when making kugel, is that every week is a surprise as to how it will come out. Will it be too salty? Too garlicky? (which as my Hungarian compadres will know, is not really a thing) Too peppery? You get the gist. And another thing is, over the years I’ve tried different things. Different ingredients, different techniques, etc, but one thing that hasn’t changed – I grate the potatoes by hand. Yeah, call me old fashioned, but I can tell the difference between a potato kugel made by hand, and one made by machine. Now that’s not to say if it’s made by machine it won’t be good, but here at casa del Fogel we like our potato kugel to be just slightly chunky, not like a puree, and there’s no way you can get that with a machine.

All right, so let’s start with some potatoes shall we? I like to peel them and to prevent them from browning I keep them submerged in water. If I have my act together (which if you haven’t caught on yet, is never) I would actually put it in the fridge over night, because that’s how Bobby (ie – my grandmother) did it, and it also makes sense, a colder potato takes longer to brown, and while a browned potato will still make a good potato kugel, it’s still something I try to avoid.

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Next thing up is the grater. Of course you can’t just use a normal box grater because that would just be too normal, you have to use one of these types of graters, which you can only buy from an old women on the side of the road somewhere in rural Hungary. This is the grater I’ve used every time (well almost, more on that in a bit) for the 16 plus years I’ve been making it.

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So grate your potatoes (which by the way, would be a great idiom…I’m not sure for what, but I can totally imagine someone saying: “..and by the way, don’t forget to grate your potatoes”…it has a nice ring to it…but I digress) and you really want to work fast here (so it doesn’t brown), which can be a little tricky if it’s your first attempt at using one of those graters.

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Look at that consistency, it’s not too mushy, not too chunky…just right

To be honest, up until recently I used garlic and onion powder, because that’s how Bobby does it, but the good food maniac (I’m trying to think of another word other than foodie, which I hate) I am, just couldn’t let it continue. So I grate an onion, and mince some fresh garlic in there, and it’s really stepped up the kugel in the past few months. However, another thing the onion might do is since it’s acidic, it prevents the potatoes from browning also, but that’s just an educated guess on my part.

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Now for the piece de resistance. Before I start grating, I pre-heat the oven, and put the pan in there with some oil. I let it heat up, and when I’m done with all the grating, and adding my salt and pepper, I take the scalding hot oil out of the oven, and pour it over the spices (I make sure the pepper and garlic are on top), which allows them to bloom, and it sizzles, so that’s pretty awesome. Once that’s all mixed, I add my eggs. It’s hard to tell you how many eggs because most of the time I’m not sure myself. I would tell you 1 egg per pound of potato, but that’s not a hard fast rule. Eggs will help bind everything, and keep it more solid, but it will also add to the browning of the crust (as will the oil).

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Anyway, I cook the potato kugel at 350 degrees until it’s ready, about 1.5-2 hours, depending on size, and type of pan you use, but you’ll know it’s ready when your house smells like Shabbos, and there’s a nice brown crust on the top. My favorite type of pan for the kugel is a glazed ceramic souffle pan, which gives a lot of interior, and makes a nice crust (because of the heat retention capabilities of the ceramic), but it is a little big for just the wife and I.

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That’s pretty much all I’ve got for now. Oh, one more thing – I did mention that I would mention something about using the grater every time. Well to be perfectly honest, one acceptable alternative in our family is the Braun Food processor, using the “e” blade. I’ve used it if I was making a whole lot of potato kugels (like the 6 pans that I made for Daniella’s kiddush). But to be really honest, it’s good, but it’s just not the same.

Now for all of you not convinced, I openly invite/challenge you to come by any Shabbos and taste my kugel, and tell me that you can’t taste the difference. Now that’s brash right there.

As like last time – this is all part of the Kosher Connection LinkUp, with the theme of Root vegetables, and since I know you want to check out what other slightly more normal people have to say about that topic, and since you probably want something just a little more exciting than plain ole’ potato kugel, click on that little frog mentschey (man, I cannot tell you how long I’ve wanted to use the word mentschey in a post…normally mentschey is strictly used for lego men, but we’ve extended it to this guy…it’s a pretty great day)…so go ahead click on it.


Potato Kugel

We’ll assume you’re making kugel for a standar d Shabbos meal, for like 6-8 people, but you can obviously scale the recipe up/down for your needs

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes (2.5 pounds), peeled
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons salt (total guess on that one)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (also a guess, and for the love of all that’s sacred, use freshly grated black pepper, it’s really not that hard to find, and unless you like the taste of saw dust, it really makes a difference)
  • 3 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350, and when oven’s hot, add your oil to your pan, and heat up in the oven
  2. Peel potatoes, and place in water (if you want to do this the night before, place potatoes in fridge, in water)
  3. Grate potatoes and onions. Add salt, minced garlic, and pepper (making sure the pepper and garlic are on top)
  4. Being careful not to burn yourself (my lawyers told me I had to say that), pour oil over top of the potato mixture, let it sizzle, and mix it through
  5. Once cooled, add your eggs, and mix until incorporated
  6. Add to pan (if the pan has good heat retention [like a ceramic one, and not like an aluminum one] you should start to hear the kugel sizzle as it hits the pan).
  7. Bake for about 1.5-2 hours, or until it’s nice and brown and delicious (well maybe wait a little to decide for yourself how delicious it is, because it’s probably going to be hot)

Leek Fritters

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I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate some of simanim into our meal for Rosh Hashanah, and got this idea from Pragmatic Attack, another kosher blog, and also a Jets fan, although I don’t know if that’s something we want to bring up nowadays…sigh…All right, back to food…at least food doesn’t lose to the Ravens, while I’m constantly surrounded by these annoying Ravens fans…but I digress.

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I really wanted to call this post “allium fritters” because I basically had an allium family reunion in the pot with this one, but I didn’t…good story huh? You see, when I saw the idea for leek fritters, I thought to myself, why stop at leeks? Let’s go with total allium domination. Alliums are a family of plants that include: onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, and garlic among other stuff, so I figured let’s combine it all together, and make the craziest fritter ever…and you know what I did? Just that.

First a word from out sponsor – Mr Leek. Leeks have that oniony taste, but a little more mild, but did you ever notice every recipe that you ever see with leeks calls for them to be rinsed clean? Well the reason is, as leeks grow, the farmer continuously kicks dirt over it to cover more of it (called “hilling”), so the dirt gets in between the layers.

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That’s also why the top half or so is greener than the bottom half, because sun produces chlorophyll, which is green and bitter for that matter, and why we discard that half of the leek, and, full circle, why mr farmer kicks dirt on the leek to cover it. Huray for science!

Anyway, start by cutting up your alliums (are you sick of that word yet? because I am), and sautee the leeks, onion, and shallots in the oil until they’re translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.

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Then add the minced garlic, and cook for another minute. Remove the whole shebang from the heat, and allow to cool. At the last minute, I decided the scallions would be better off raw, and not sauteed, so I combined it with the cooked onions.

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Then added flour, salt, black and white pepper, to taste, and added the eggs, and mixed it all together.

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I then heated up some oil in a skillet, and dropped in spoon fulls of the batter to cook them…kind of like latkes. I fried them for about 2 minutes per side, and allowed them to drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Until next time.

Leek (Allium) Fritters

adapted from Pragmatic Attack

Ingredients:

  • About 1 pound of mixed alliums (geez! enough) – leeks, onions, shallots, scallions, garlic
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Chop up your veggies, and heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, and sautee the leeks, onions, and shallots, until they become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and sautee for another minute.
  2. Remove from fire, and add them all to a bowl, and allow to cool, and add the chopped scallions.
  3. When cool, combine flour, salt, and white and black pepper adjusting seasoning to taste, and add eggs, and mix to combine.
  4. Heat up about 1/3-2/3 cups of oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, and drop in the batter by the spoon full and fry for about 2 minutes per side.
  5. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
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