Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fried mixed-herb dough & Roasted bell pepper sauce

Some food just can't be any happier if without getting into hot bubbling oil, think of potato chips or french fries. I know I know, a baked version exists... well, a nice try. Tell ya', once you taste deep-fried sage or basil leaves, no one can stop you rushing to open a bottle of wine! It is the magic power about deep-frying. When I know Sher, my favorite blogger who can cook everything wonderfully, going to guest host this week's Weekend Herb Blogging (created by Kalyn), I'm so thrilled that frying one herb just don't feel enough, not even two, got to be five! The mixed- (5) herb balls are not oily at all. Please remember to add enough oil in wok (which I used) and pre-heat it first, then hot oil solely is a medium of sending heat but not fat into the food.

Recipe (yield : 12 small balls) *adapted from Sale & Pepe magazine - Grandi Fritti all' Italiana*
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbp (slightly packed) finely diced fresh herbs - I used sage, scallion, marjoram, rosemary & dill
  • 2 Tbps milk or as needed
  • a dash of onion & garlic powder
  • a dash of black pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine all the above ingredients until smooth and thick (see photo).

In a wok pour in 2-inch deep oil and pre-heat to medium hot, then lower the heat so the oil back to less hot (as the dough will brown up instantly)

Prepare two coffee/tea spoons, use one to scoop up some dough (about the size of hazelnut), and use the other to scrape the dough down into the oil. Fry for 2 minutes or more over low heat, drain. If your dough is big, frying time is longer. Better to try frying one first so you have a better idea.

I love dipping the fried balls in this tangy and spicy sauce, which is just so easy to make! It keeps well in fridge for a few days, but over 5 days its taste is kinda off. However I didn't copy down the recipe (the book is from library), let me write down what I can remember for now, and will update later.

Recipe of roasted red bell pepper sauce (yield: about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vinegar + 1 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 shallots, halved
  • 1 very small onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 roasted bell pepper in vinegar (store-bought, from jar), drain

Bring the vinegar & water to boil, poach (simmer) garlic, shallots, onions and bay leaves for about 25 minutes. Drain but save the liquid as you may need it. When they are cool, puree them plus red pepper, taste and season. Add the saved liquid if necessary to get your desired consistency.



MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

How simple you make that don't have to convince me it's good. It's in's got to be good! What a great little treat and a glass of wine!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Mouthwatering photos, and those little puffs of dough look so good!

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow! These look so delicious! Stunning photos. :)

Brilynn said...

I need you to come give me a lesson in frying, I'm still scared of the oil and ending up with a greasy mess, and quite possibly 3rd degree burns.

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious!! Does it have to be red peppers stored in vinegar? I've only ever seen ones stored in olive oil over here :(

Unknown said...

Haha, I know what makes my pal over the moon - anything deep-fried, but they better be delish though, hee.. Love your mouth-watering photos, as always :)

Anh said...

So we are all in deep-fry mood at the moment ;). Your deep-fried puffs look so wonderful! And the photo is lovely. Now I blame you for the continuous deep-fried food craving. kekeke

Anonymous said...

I've missed reading your blog, Gattina! And I agree with you about the fried dough! These are just gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh they look so delicious.... wonderful presentation as always


Katie said...

I admit to being one of those who shyes away from frying in oil, but this makes me want to try it.
You make it look and sound so, the photos make them look soooo good!
And they're small, right?

Gattina Cheung said...

Tanna, yes, and besides, that bursting heat (in cooking) is the only kind, to bring up the essence of flavor! Now let me swim in a pond of wine...... :)

Lydia, thank you for the compliement!

Chris, oh thanks sweetie!

Brilynn, whenever you do frying, calling me I'll do it for your sweetie :D

Ellie, I haven't tried the oiled one in this sauce. You may need to wipe out the oil, and add some wine vinegar for a final touch?
Thanks darling for your sweet words!

Angie, I grew up with deep-fried food :D... (btw, I got an e-mail about "Angie tagging", is that you? the format looks funny to me so I better to ask you first)

Anh, I have a wok always ready for deep-frying :D But I don't go crazy, everytime only make a few pieces, instead of baking cookies or sth its big batch seems stuck with me forever...

Ivonne, oh thanks for your sweet words.

sushma, thanks my friend :D

Katie, yes, they are just about the size of small walnut (after fried, after expanded). To fry this dough, I'd say, is pretty safe as the heat always stays quite low.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Gattina!! I'm sooo making these!

I don't fry much but I'd be more than happy to make an exception for this recipe - I can't tell you how much this made my mouth water. :)

Anonymous said...

oh how appetizing, once more gattina! My mum used to make potato ones, and I have not had any in SOOOOO SOOO long!

FH said...

Bonda!!!!! YUMMY!!! Now you are talking. I love savory snacks anyday to desserts!:))

Love the chutney as well.

Anonymous said...

This is my next Saturday afternoon project with my son. I'm trying to teach him a little about cooking, and together we're going to do this exact recipe with the dip...thanks Gattina, I'm looking forward to this looks delicious and fun to make.

Mishmash ! said...

Deep fried savory snacks...yumm! As u said nothing tastes better like deep fried ones...but when we think of that cholesterol factory....:(


Unknown said...


Strange...nope, I didn't send you any email recently. Is it from Gmail? MAybe it's some kind of spam mail?

Anonymous said...

Deep fried dough - what's not to love? The recipe for roasted bell pepper sauce looks yum, great color!

Mandira said...

wow, fried herb dough with red pepper sauce - now that's what I need to brighten this grey day! gorgeous photos gattina :)

Lis said...

I could sit an eat one after another of these! They look THAT good!


Linda said...

gattina - who gets to hang out in your kitchen all day and eat these goodies? if you don't have a fan club lining up outside yet, i'd like to volunteer for the job. these dough balls of sorts look amazing... and that fruit dish before this one. wow.

Maneka Nirmal said...

as always ,wonderful be frank i like ur pics more than the recipes..

the fried dough and the pepper sauce is a perfect match with a cup of hot tea..hmm.thanks gattina .

Callipygia said...

oh these might get me over the frying fear. And I mykitcheninhalfcup's idea to drink with wine!

Helene said...

My mouth won't stay close! i am so making this this week. looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Five herbs?? My heart began to race and I had to put a cold compress on my forehead. It's too, too impossibly delicious looking!

Oh, it's settled now. I'm going to move to your neighborhood and come to your house for treats. Just toss me some of those herby balls and I'll do a dance! :):)

Sia said...

difficult to resist fried stuff han?:) i can gladly eat these and ditch choclates and icecreams:) 5 herbs...i must try this very soon...

Mercedes said...

These look delicious, I love all those herbs together!

Bong Mom said...

Oooooooh lovely Gattina and your fact about hot oild not adding extra fat makes it all the more delectable
We also heat oil to fry fish etc. but didn't know the fact behind it

Gattina Cheung said...

Pat, wish I could fry for you :D

Bea, potato is a lovely idea, can't wait to try *kiss*

Asha, thanks my friend :D

Windwhisperer, enjoy the project with your son! Whatever it turns out, I know it must be good! I remember even just listened to my mom telling me names of different herbs, I was already fascinated!

Shn, for me "portion" is the key. I eat everything, but only in a tiny portion. Well, it's only my case, we are all different :D

Angie, thanks for the info! I believe you are right, so I just deleted it right away. Thanks pal!

Monisha, thanks for the sweet words sweetie! Right, that dipping sauce is wonderful!

Mandira, thank you so much for the compliment!

Lis, me too! I even couldn't wait to sit down to eat... I was eating by the frying wok, kekee.

Linda, oh you gal!!! Thanks for making my day! *kiss*

Maneka, thanks for your compliement :D Right, hot tea is great!

Calli, my relatives in here no one like to do frying, so the job always lands on me. No pro, I will fry for you too if I have a chance :D

Helene, have fun darling!

Sher, hehee... I wish you were my neighbor too! Thinking of all that fresh fava...

Sia, enjoy my friend!

Sandeepa, I am very used to frying as I started doing it when I was only a little girl. Now I have a deep-fryer, the job is more safe (as it has the lid on), I use it whenever I need to cook to many people.

Gattina Cheung said...

mercede, thanks for dropping by! It's really lovely to have you visited.

Sandra said...

Sound delicious!!!!! :)
Good recipe & photo!!

Anonymous said...

Oo these look yummy! If I ever make these, I'd be tempted to sneak a little bacon in it (then again, I sneak bacon into a lot of things ;D). But I'm scared of deep frying. :(

Helene said...

Marvellous as ever!! And great photos. I´ll do these with my daugther next weekend. :)

Anonymous said...

I love these deep fried dough balls! But I have only had the sweet version...I will have to try these ones soon! They sound delicious! :)

Kalyn Denny said...

They sound wonderful, especially with the fantastic combination of herbs you used. The sauce sounds great too!

Julie said...

So can you just fry some up and FedEx them to me?
...or wait, where do you live, and I'll pop by with the wine. Because these look fantastic (and very binge-y...) but I'm afraid of oil....