First, a confession: I didn't just wake up with this idea. I was eating Portobello Mushroom Fries in a restaurant (that was known for having the best) and when I mentioned to the server how amazing they tasted...he sold out the whole kitchen- "just slices of portobello fried, but the secret ingredient is Wondra". He just assumed it wouldn't matter to me. I guess there are advantages to not getting that tattoo I thought about (FOOD BLOGGA) on my fingers.I knew I'd be stopping on the way home to buy a canister of Wondra and figuring this out. There wasn't much to do, really. I knew I didn't want to use egg washes, or more breading materials that would over power the umami taste of these giant Portobello Mushrooms.So, I just brushed the mushrooms clean, sliced and trimmed them to consistent sizes and laid them out on a parchment lined pan.
Then, I sprinkled them with salt, and let them rest for a few minutes. The salt caused them to release some moisture, which was enough to hold on to the Wondra coating. One of the reasons these are so good is because the coating is light and crispy, not gummy or thick like bad fried chicken wings.One of my favorite Anne Willan recipes is Salt & Pepper Shrimp where she uses just a dusting of cornstarch before flat-frying the shrimp. They end up crispy golden and the shrimp meat just pops through with spicy juice.These are addictive (what fried food isn't, right?) And with all fried foods, the key is to get your oil hot enough to crisp the outside but still low enough to cook the inside. Too low and your food just gets drenched in fat. If it's too hot you burn the outside before the inside gets cooked. Part of the beauty of Portobello Mushroom Fries is that the mushroom is so good raw (unlike a potato), that even if you miss - you win anyway.RECIPE: Portobello Mushroom Fries
1-2 Large Portobello Mushrooms - brush washed, sliced into even strips
1-2 cups Wondra
1) Lay the sliced mushrooms on a parchment covered pan and sprinkle with salt to release moisture. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
2) Pour the Wondra into a flat bowl and roll each mushroom slice around in the flour.
3) In a deep saucepan, heat about 3-4 inches of oil to 350F and carefully drop a few mushroom slices at a time into the hot oil. Fry for a minute or two, just til golden.
4) Remove with a slotted spider or tongs and lay into a paper or towel covered basket to drain. Season with pepper and serve asap. *These go great with a little Aioli dip*