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February 4, 2013

Last night at the end of the game I felt like disemboweling myself. Not because of the Forty-Niners’ tragic last-minute defeat. But out of sheer discomfort from all the food I ate.

By some measures I suppose you could call my repast the most healthful game day feast ever.

Organic-cornmeal dusted Cajun-spiced trout (sustainably sourced from Fin), maque choux made from organic corn and peppers, red beans and brown rice, organic cajun-spiced popcorn, and Buffalo-style Three Smiles Kitchen seitan. It’s like a hippies delight.

All in all, a lot of dishes were dirtied, and I ended up with a sprinkling of crumbs across my belly. But I learned something important, although perhaps you already have heard this before. Although even if you have, it bears repeating.

Nothing beats fried.

For the most part I’ve lived in pretty much a deep-fat-fried free zone since the end of December. I did cheat recently at Comfort Kitchen, treating myself to a small basket of their potato tots with Awesome Sauce.

I’m thinking about their light crispy exterior, golden brown, and dusted with salt. And I recall how it crackled when my teeth sunk into the tot, revealing the moist and tender potato filling within.

Baking food is a poor substitute.

As good as my ingredients were, oven baked fish in cornmeal simply can’t compete with the fried version. It was tasty enough. But it would have been even better with a crisper crust. Same goes for the seitan, which was an interesting experiment.

I think I’ve learned my lesson, again. Go for the gusto, or go without.

Sure, fried food is positively awful for your health. That’s why it’s critical that you make your fried food occasions really special and have them truly count. In the meantime, I think I’ll keep getting color and coaxing flavor out of food through high heat roasting.

I just picked up some purple potatoes and some gorgeous looking parsnips that would make a great, colorful winter root hash. That crowned with a single poached egg from Stewart’s isn’t anything close to the glory of poutine. But it satisfies a similar impulse.

One of these days I’ll get back to fried foods, and I’ll try to keep them in moderation. But I’m done with these oven baked substitutes.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2013 1:45 pm

    What’s interesting to me is that you have, all on your own, created an obsessive association between fried food and the Super Bowl. You don’t have to have the one to enjoy the other. Last night we ate lobster and drawn butter with sourdough rolls and a big complex salad. I did later feel some indigestion, but it wasn’t because of the food.

    • February 4, 2013 3:11 pm

      Not all on his own — the most popular Super Bowl foods nationwide seem to be Buffalo wings and nachos, things of that ilk. (And they’re so delicious! Though the wings we got last night were a bit undersauced, which was disappointing.) I always treat the occasion as the one day a year when there’s an excuse to gorge on the most delicious-but-unhealthy stuff out there, like wings and dips and nachos and ice cream.

  2. February 4, 2013 4:14 pm

    Daniel, I think I’m going to have to make the wings for you next time. This will be MY new obsession. :)
    I’m sorry it didn’t work out this time, but don’t give up. We’ll figure something out.

    And by the way, you CAN deep fry seitan. There’s still so saturated fat or cholesterol to start with, which beats chicken wings any day.

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