Do you own a fryer? Did you know it has magical abilities to bring people together? It's my best kept entertaining secret because it gets people involved with the meal no matter what their culinary preferences. And it's the perfect frugal entertaining companion! Want to know how I put it to use?
I love my fryer. Really I do. I'm not from the south, nor do I eat every meal from it. In fact, it comes out of the cabinet rarely, but when it does, you better believe awesomeness is about to happen. (Before I owned one, a cast iron dutch oven worked just fine, so if you don't have a fryer, don't fret as you're not left out in the cold.)
One of my favorite ways to entertain is to heat up some oil and host a fry up. Ask friends to bring ingredients they'd like to eat. Make sure to start the ball rolling and let them know what ingredients you'll be supplying. It's a great way to feed a crowd with very little overhead cost (just oil and few starters).
Although you can use a thicker, more country style breading, I'm a big fan of this tempura batter and have used it time and time again on everything from Snickers bars, mushrooms, sweet potato, pickles, onions, chicken fingers and more. Just remember to lightly salt things as they're removed from the oil. This whole shebang instantly creates an easygoing atmosphere where people can gather round and enjoy company without the need to set a table or even have a plate!
Don't forget about things that can be added to the oil without batter, like eggrolls and crab rangoons. Make them in advance and have something to toss in while you're prepping new additions.
Have you ever done a BYO fry up?
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)