I'll admit this up front: I do have fear of frying. Deep frying just seems so involved and messy. But every time I do it, I say to myself that I will remember that it's not so bad. Maybe today it was easier because I didn't decide on frying for dinner until about 4:00 today. Was running through the grocery store and saw some beautiful sole, at a great price. So I postponed our crispy shallow-fried chicken dinner until tomorrow and grabbed the fish. On the way home I realized that I have lots of fry coating, from our trip to New England last summer. Might as well try a shallow fry of fish, I thought. Then when Dave got home from work, he asked if we were frying fish then could I maybe make sweet potato chips, too? Heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I discarded the idea of pulling out the big iron skillet and went for a wide pot instead, thinking I might as well use the same pot for both things.
I used the mandoline to get nice evenly thin slices of sweet potatoes, and we got the pot of oil (2" deep) heating up (starting target, 375 degrees). My plan was to put Dave in charge of the chips, which was silly because since neither of us have ever done them before you know I'm going to be hanging out and "supervising." First batch was a little dark, but after that we got it just right. As you can see from the picture, we were able to make a half sheet pan do double duty as a landing pad for the chips and the fish. Breading the fish was easy – I used a one-step approach, not the three-step flour/egg/breading. The fish picked up the corn flour and spices of the Zatarain's Louisiana Fish Fry quite nicely. Two minutes in the hot oil and it was GBD – very tender and juicy with a softly crisp coating, crunchy around the edges.